Who was/is Sonny Boy Williamson ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Sonny Boy Williamson

Although he wasn't on the cutting edge when it came to amplifying his harmonica, John Lee 'Sonny Boy' Williamson had no problem with bringing in an electric guitarist on his postwar RCA Victor sessions, keeping up with the times as Chicago blues got brasher and louder. The discographies claim that Big Bill Broonzy is the axeman on 1947's rollicking Better Cut That Out—a role Big Bill should have been accustomed to by then, since he'd first backed Sonny Boy in the studio in 1939.

Sonny Boy's place in the blues pantheon is a revered one. He was the first man to render the harmonica a full-fledged solo instrument with his boundlessly imaginative, instantly identifiable wailing. All of a sudden, even the local AFM had to bestow its seal of approval on the harmonica (prior to Sonny Boy's emergence, it was considered more of a novelty). "They found what harps could do, a man sellin' all them records," said the late Chicago pianist Sunnyland Slim. "Sonny Boy went down to the Club Georgia and all the people went down to see him, and the Unions put the harps in." 

He was so influential that a legion of disciples hung on his every note and a certain wizened harpist down in the Delta appropriated his name as his own (more about that rascal later). The original Sonny Boy was born March 30, 1914 in Jackson, Tennessee. In his mid-teens, he rambled with fellow bluesmen Yank Rachell and Sleepy John Estes. At 20 he came to the Windy City, and by 1937 Williamson was a member of A&R man Lester Melrose's recording stable. 

The young harpist made his first session for Bluebird as a leader in May of '37 in Aurora, Illinois (a Chicago suburb); among the fruits of his debut date was the classic Good Morning, School Girl. Williamson was responsible for introducing a fair amount of blues standards-to-be: Sugar Mama Blues, Blue Bird Blues, My Little Machine, Elevator Woman, and his 1947 hit Shake The Boogie to name a few.

Better Cut That Out was a hit for Sonny Boy as well, going to #15 R&B for a week near the end of 1948. Cut November 12 of the previous year with a Chicago band consisting of Broonzy, pianist Blind John Davis, bassist Ransom Knowling, and drummer Judge Riley, the infectious stop-time romp tragically turned out to be the last track Williamson ever cut. He died June 1, 1948 after being viciously beaten in the street—a devastating turn of events for 12-year-old Billy Boy Arnold, who had only recently received his first harmonica lessons from his idol.

"He was such a warm, friendly guy. He told me he'd teach me anything I needed to know," says Arnold. "The third time I came by his house, he had gotten murdered. He was a young guy. He was only 34 when he got killed. I didn't want to be a professional. I just wanted to learn how to do it. I said, 'All I want to do is learn how to play, make the sounds that he made.' And it just snowballed from there."

 

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!

Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

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More information about Sonny Boy Williamson on Wikipedia.org

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Down And Out Blues (LP, 180g Vinyl)
Sonny Boy Williamson: Down And Out Blues (LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: LP143716

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(Macomba) 14 tracks The great blues musician Sonny Boy Williamson was on stage until 1965, which allowed him to come to Europe and influence the British blues boom. Sonny Boy made a name for himself in the UK between 1963 and 1965,...
$22.58
Real Folk Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson: Real Folk Blues Art-Nr.: CD579251

only 1x still available
Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

​1957-63 'Chess', 31:51/12. Japanese reissue of the original LP
$20.31
Down & Out Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson: Down & Out Blues Art-Nr.: CD579250

only 1x still available
Ready to ship today, delivery time** appr. 1-3 workdays

1955-58 'Chess'​. 53:37/19. Japanese reissue of the original LP with 7 additional tracks .
$20.31
Keep It To Ourselves (LP, 180g Vinyl)
Sonny Boy Williamson: Keep It To Ourselves (LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: APB036

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one of the most beautiful acoustic harmonica albums, ever, in superb quality. Limited 180 gram edition.
$56.53
U.K. Blues (CD, Cut-Out)
Sonny Boy Williamson: U.K. Blues (CD, Cut-Out) Art-Nr.: CD0611302

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(1963 'Fontana/BYG') (77:07/20) Seine beiden Live-Alben mit Eric Clapton und den Yardbirds bzw. Eric Burdons Animals / his European live sessions.
$11.26 $16.92
Bummer Road
Sonny Boy Williamson: Bummer Road Art-Nr.: CD34291

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(1957-60 'Chess') (39:18/11) SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON - hca/voc, OTIS SPANN - pno, LAFAYETTE LEAKE - pno, ROBERT JR. LOCKWOOD - gtr, EDDIE KING MILTON - gtr, WILLIE DIXON - upright bass.
$11.03
Goin' In Your Direction
Sonny Boy Williamson: Goin' In Your Direction Art-Nr.: CDAA801

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(1951-54 'Trumpet') (42:04/15) Drei Takes erstmals erhältlich / three takes previously unreleased; Klasse Harmonica Blues / superb harmonica blues, from way down south w/ BOBO 'SLIM' THOMAS, WILLIE LOVE, ROBERT Jr.LOCKWOOD, B.B.KING, etc.
$11.26 $16.92
Down And Out Blues - In Memorium (CD)
Sonny Boy Williamson: Down And Out Blues - In Memorium (CD) Art-Nr.: CDBGO603

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(1950s/60s 'Chess') (65:46/24). Two original LPs on one CD.
$11.26 $18.96
Portrait Of A Blues Man
Sonny Boy Williamson: Portrait Of A Blues Man Art-Nr.: CDCAPR3017

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(1963 'Storyville') (39:05/10) Überspielung von den Originalbändern / extremely fine sound quality, mastered from the original tapes.
$21.45
His Best
Sonny Boy Williamson: His Best Art-Nr.: CDCHD9377

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The best recordings from one of the greatest musician of his generation, feat. MUDDY WATERS, JIMYM ROGERS, BUDDY GUY, FRED BELOW, MATT MURPHY, OTIS SPANN, LUTHER TUCKER, etc.
$19.18
Live In London (CD)
Sonny Boy Williamson & The Yardbirds: Live In London (CD) Art-Nr.: CDLS42020

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-& The Yardbirds (1963 London) (42:18/11)
$11.26
Keep It To Ourselves
Sonny Boy Williamson: Keep It To Ourselves Art-Nr.: CDSCD4176

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One of the greatest harmonica LPs of all times! SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON - hca/voc, MATT 'GUITAR' MURPHY - acoustic gtr. Special guests: MEMPHIS SLIM - pno, BILLIE STEPNEY - drums.
$21.22
The Real Folk Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson: The Real Folk Blues Art-Nr.: LP1503

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(1957-63 'Chess') Pure Pleasure Neuauflage / Re-issue.
$31.12
Down And Out Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson: Down And Out Blues Art-Nr.: HIHO14370

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$29.37
The Hunt - Little Vilage 7inch, 45rpm
Sonny Boy Williamson: The Hunt - Little Vilage 7inch, 45rpm Art-Nr.: REP23046

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Massiv and electric BLUES STOMPER!
$12.39
From The Bottom
Sonny Boy Williamson: From The Bottom Art-Nr.: CD250336

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$17.82
More Real Folk Blues (CD)
Sonny Boy Williamson: More Real Folk Blues (CD) Art-Nr.: CD579252

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1959-63 'Chess', 34:04/12. Japanese reissue of the original LP
$22.58
One Way Out
Sonny Boy Williamson: One Way Out Art-Nr.: CD579253

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​1955-59 'Chess', 39:33/15. Japanese reissue of the original LP
$17.82
Bummer Road
Sonny Boy Williamson: Bummer Road Art-Nr.: LPDOL1465

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(2014/DOL) 10 tracks, 140 g vinyl. 1957-60 Chess.
$15.56
One Way Out
Sonny Boy Williamson: One Way Out Art-Nr.: LPDOL1452

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(2014/DOL) 15 tracks, 140 g vinyl. 1955-59 Chess..
$15.56
More Real Folk Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson: More Real Folk Blues Art-Nr.: LPDOL1509

This article is deleted and can no longer be ordered!

(2013/Dolchess) 12 tracks. 1959-63 'Chess'.
$15.56
Down And Out Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson: Down And Out Blues Art-Nr.: LPDOL1437

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(2013/Dolchess) 12 tracks. 1955-58 'Chess'.
$15.56
The Real Folk Blues
Sonny Boy Williamson: The Real Folk Blues Art-Nr.: LPDOL1503

This article is deleted and can no longer be ordered!

(2013/Dolchess) 12 tracks. 1957-63 'Chess'.
$15.56
The Best Of Sonny Boy Williamson (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)
Sonny Boy Williamson: The Best Of Sonny Boy Williamson (LP, 180g... Art-Nr.: LP6017003

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(Storyville) 10 tracks - Remastered Re-issue on 180g vinyl of the original 1965 'Storyville' album - Free digital download of the album included
$33.89
Down And Out Blues (LP, 180g Vinyl)
Sonny Boy Williamson: Down And Out Blues (LP, 180g Vinyl) Art-Nr.: LP1437

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(Macomba) 14 tracks Sonny Boy Williamson, the singer and harmonica player, was one of the best blues musicians of all time. His earthy yet elegant approach was as distinctive as it was irresistible. This edition of his 1959 debut album,...
$18.05 $22.58
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