Document Records - Vintage Blues and Jazz

Sonny Boy Williamson music CDs

Sonny Boy Williamson music CDs available from Document Records. Document Records have an extensive back catalogue of Sonny Boy Williamson music CDs. Each link will take you through to a page with a more comprehensive description of the particular Sonny Boy Williamson music CD title you are interested in:

Sonny Boy Williamson Vol 1 1937 - 1938 DOCD-5055. This Document Records CD features the seminal Harmonica playing of Sonny Boy Williamson in his first recording sessions for the Bluebird label.
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Sonny Boy Williamson Vol 2 1938 - 1939 DOCD-5056. This Document Records CD features the sessions that Sonny Boy Williamson recorded in 1938 and 1939, accompanied by such artists as Big Bill Broonzy, Big Joe Williams, Robert Lee McCoy (Nighthawk), Willie Hatcher and Yank Rachell.
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Sonny Boy Williamson Vol 3 1939 - 1941 DOCD-5057. Sonny Boy Williamson recorded the sessions on this Document Records CD between 1939 and 1941. Sonny Boy is accompanied by Big Bill Broonzy, Walter Davis, Blind John Davis, Fred Williams, William Mitchell and Joshua Altheimer.
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Sonny Boy Williamson Vol 4 1941 - 1945 DOCD-5058. Sonny Boy Williamson recorded the sessions on this Document Records CD with such artists as Blind John Davis, Big Bill Broonzy, William Mitchell, Ransom Knowling, Charlie McCoy, Washboard Sam, Alfred Elkins, Armand `Jump` Jackson, Eddie Boyd, Ted Summitt and Bill Sid Cox.
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 Sonny Boy Williamson Vol 5 1945 - 1947 DOCD-5059. This Sonny Boy Williamson Document Records CD represents some of the final songs from a recording career that produced over 120 sides for the Victor and Bluebird labels.

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Sonny Boy Williamson, The Essential DOUBLE CD CBL 200013. Classic Blues is devoted to re-issuing the classic recordings of America`s greatist blues artists. Sonny Boy Williamson was from the date of his first recordings in 1937 until his death a decade later Sonny Boy Williamson was the undisputed king of the blues Harmonica and this CD represents a selection of tracks from these sessions.
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A brief Sonny Boy Williamson Biog

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.

During the early thirties Sonny Boy worked with Sunnyland Slim in Memphis. After this Sonny Boy moved to Chicago in 1934 where he worked Maxwell Street and as a sideman with numerous blues groups at the local clubs.

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.

One of the tracks that Sonny Boy recorded was the first recording of "Good Morning, Little School Girl" which with his attractive short tongued delivery and clean swinging harp playing became a hit and has since become a much recorded blues classic tune. Sonny Boy went on to record over 120 sides for the Victor and Bluebird record labels.

Williamson worked frequently with Muddy Waters from 1943 and toured with Lazy Bill Lucas through the 1940`s. He also recorded with Big Joe Williams for the Columbia label in Chicago, 1947. In 1948 upon leaving the Plantation Club in Chicago after playing a gig, Sonny Boy was mugged and beaten. He died of a fractured skull and other injuries on June 1st, 1948 and was buried in his home town of Jackson, Tennessee.

Although he had a relatively short career, Sonny Boy Williamson is rightly regarded as "the first truly virtuosic blues harmonica player", "who brought the harmonica to prominence as a major blues instrument". He played a tremendous role in influencing the classic Chicago blues of the 1940`s and 1950`s.

Among the artists he has influenced are Howlin` Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Billy Boy Arnold, Shakey Jake Harris, Big Walter Horton, Little Walter, Dr. Ross, Junior Wells, and Johnny Young.

Sites of interest: Sonny Boy Williamson lyrics
Sonny Boy Williamson biog with links
Another Sonny Boy Williamson biog



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