Sonny Terry

Genres: Blues Comedy
Descriptive "tags": blues harmonica harmonica blues folk folk blues Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Links online: Allmusic BBC Music VIAF Wikipedia

Biography

Saunders Terrell, 24 October 1911, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA, d. 12 March 1986, New York City, New York, USA. By the age of 16, Sonny Terry was virtually blind following two accidents, which encouraged his concentration on music. After his father’s death, Terry worked on medicine shows, and around 1937 teamed up with Blind Boy Fuller, moving to Durham, North Carolina, to play the streets with Fuller, Gary Davis and washboard player George Washington (Bull City Red). Terry made his recording debut in December 1937 as Fuller’s harmonica player. His vocalized tones were interspersed with a distinctive falsetto whoop, and he continued in this fashion until Fuller’s death in 1941. By Terry’s good fortune, Fuller was in jail when John Hammond Jnr. wished to recruit him for the 1938 Spirituals To Swing concert, and Terry took his place. His inextricably interwoven harmonica playing and singing were a sensation, but had little immediate effect on...

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