Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Document Records
Sonny Boy Williamson, the essential DOUBLE CD

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Sonny Boy Williamson

01 - Wonderful time
02 - Black panther blues
03 - Polly put your kettle on
04 - Dogging my love around
05 - Black gal blues
06 - Rub a dub
07 - Decoration day blues no. 2
08 - Early in the morning
09 - Jackson blues
10 - She don`t love me that way
11 - Little girl blues
12 - Miss Stella Brown blues
13 - You`re an old lady
14 - Check up on my baby blues
15 - Got the bottle and gone
16 - Frigidaire blues
17 - Welfare store blues
18 - Whiskey headed blues
19 - Goodbye Red
20 - Been dealing with the devil
21 - Beauty parlor
22 - You got to step back
23 - Good gal blues
24 - Good gravy
25 - Christmas morning blues
26 - Mellow chick swing
27 - No friend blues
28 - You give an account
29 - Coal and iceman blues
30 - Come on baby and take a walk
31 - Elevator woman
32 - Southern dream
33 - Thinking my blues away
34 - Apple tree swing
35 - Jivin` the blues
36 - Willow tree gal

There were bluesmen playing the Harmonica before Sonny Boy Williamson came on the scene, but none that brought the innovations and style to the instrument that he did.
Sonny Boy Williamson (John Lee Williamson) was born in Jackson, Tennessee on 30th March 1914 to Ray Williamson and Nancy Utley but left home at an early age. A speech defect made it difficult for the excitable and emotional Sonny Boy to communicate effectively except in the most relaxed circumstances. He learned to express himself through his music and this defect hardly appeared in his singing and did not restrict his ability on the harmonica.
After leaving home, in late 1920's and early thirties he hoboed and worked with the bluesmen Big Joe Williams, Yank Rachell and John Estes through Tennessee and Arkansas. The Harmonica was the instrument of choice for this itinerent lifestyle. Small, easily carried in a pocket or bindle and it was cheap. Originally intended as much as a child's toy as a serious instrument it had special attractions for the poor and the itinerant. In the rural southern states of the U.S.A., on sharecroppers' stoops and in the hobo lifestyle, it developed, almost in isolation, into a genuine folk instrument.
His first recording, accompanied by Big Joe Williams and Robert Lee McCoy (later to become famous as Robert Nighthawk) was made at the Leland Hotel, Aurora, Illinois, on the 5th May 1937 for the Bluebird label. His accompaniament with Big Joe Williams on four tracks established a partnership on record that has been likened by Paul Oliver to that of Muddy Waters and Little Walter. This was to be the start of career that would produce produced over 120 sides for the Victor and Bluebird labels.
Sonny Boy's influence was enourmous and affected Harmonica players from the enthusiatic neighbourhood kid Billy Boy Arnold to the enigma sometimes known as Rice Miller, who appropriated his name and the great Little Walter; it is an influence that continues to this day. Speculation has never ceased as to where Sonny Boy might have taken the music had he not been murdered on a Chicago street in 1948.
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