2 October 1946, Rayne, Louisiana, USA. The son of sharecroppers, Sonnier (pronounced Sawn-ya) was working in cotton fields from the age of five. He began singing and playing accordion, worked on local radio and recorded his first single, Tes Yeaux Bleus (Your Blue Eyes) when aged 13. He recorded his white roots Cajun music for the Swallow and Goldband labels, and when 26 years old, moved to California and then to Nashville in search of national success. In 1976 he recorded Lefty Frizzells Always Late (With Your Kisses) for Mercury Records and then formed a band called Friends, which included Albert Lee, David Lindley and Garth Hudson (the Band). An opening slot for Merle Haggard helped promote his work to a wider audience, although Sonnier remained better known as a session musician (including appearances on Cajun Born by Johnny Cash and American Without Tears by Elvis Costello). In 1987 Sonnier was...
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