Sonny Thompson Biography

Alphonso Thompson, 22 August 1916, Centreville, Mississippi, USA, d. 11 August 1989. This long-time Chicago-based R&B band leader and pianist first recorded boogie-woogies in 1946 for the Detroit-based Sultan label. After signing for the Miracle label in Chicago, he succeeded with ‘Long Gone’, which went to number 1 on the R&B chart in 1948. The gently rolling instrumental set the tone for his later hits, ‘Late Freight’ (R&B number 1, 1948), ‘Blue Dreams’ (R&B number 10, 1949) and ‘Mellow Blues’ (R&B number 8, 1952). His later chart records featured the vocals of his wife, Lulu Reed, notably ‘I’ll Drown In My Tears’ and ‘Let’s Call It A Day’, both from 1952. Thompson worked largely as a session musician during the 50s, and in 1959 succeeded Ralph Bass as an A&R director for King Records’ Chicago office. After the closure of the King office in 1964, Thompson continued session work and made occasional tours of Europe.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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