Little Walter

Harmonica-Players
Home Page

Forum Boards

Harmonicas for Sale     Musician Starter Kits
Harmonica Players

Types of Harmonicas   Harmonica Parts   Harmonica History
 
Harmonica Music CDs     Music Theory Instruction
    Harmonica Lessons

Big Walter Horton, Charlie McCoy, Charlie Musselwhite, Harmonicats, Howlin' Wolf,
 James Cotton, Johnny Puleo, Larry Adler, Lee Oskar, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williams I,
 Sonny Boy Williams II, Sonny Terry, Stevie Wonder, Tommy Reilly, Toots Thielaman,
Will Griffin


Will Griffin
"Hanging On"
"Jackson"
Take a Moment to Load
Contact Will
All Instruments: Will

Recommended
Diatonic Harmonicas

Hohner 1896/20 Marine Band Harmonica Key of C
Hohner Marine Band
Harmonica;
Keys G-F#

$29.99

Hohner 1896/20 Marine Band Harmonica, Low and High Pitches Key of G High pitch
Hohner 1896/20 Marine Band Harmonica, Low and High Pitches;
Low D-F# & High G

$29.99

Hohner 365 Steve Baker Special Harmonica Key of C
Hohner 365 Steve Baker Special Harmonica; Keys A-C
$54.99 - $59.99

Hohner Blues Harp MS Harmonica Key of C
Hohner 532/20 Blues Harp Harmonica; Keys G-F#
$31.95

Hohner 542/20 Golden Melody Harmonica Pack with Case and Belt
Hohner 542/20 Blues Harp Harmonica Pack
with Case and Belt;
Keys G, A, B, C. D, E, F

$149.99

Hohner 532/20 Blues Harp Harmonica Pack with Case and Belt
Hohner 532/20 Blues Harp Harmonica Pack
with Case and Belt;
Keys G, A, B, C. D, E, F

$149.99

Hohner 54/64 Echo Harmonica
Hohner 54/64 Echo Harmonica; Keys C & G
$74.99


Sonny Boy Williamson I
John Lee Curtis Williamson
BORN: March 30, 1914, Jackson, TN
Died: June 1, 1948, Jackson, TN
Harmonicas Used:  Hohner Marine Band & Blues Harps

    Sonny Boy Williamson (John Lee Curtis Williamson, 30 March 1914 1 June 1948) was an American blues harmonica player, and the first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson.

Career

    He was born near Jackson, Tennessee in 1914. His original harmonica recordings were considered to be in the country blues style, but he soon demonstrated skill at making harmonica a lead instrument for the blues, and popularized the instrument for the first time in a more urban blues setting. He has been called "the father of modern blues harp".

    His very first recording, "Good Morning, School Girl", was a major hit on the 'race records' market in 1937. He was hugely popular among black audiences throughout the whole southern U.S. as well as in the Midwestern industrial cities such as Detroit and his home base in Chicago, and his name was synonymous with the blues harmonica for the next decade. Other well-known recordings of his include "Shake the Boogie", "You Better Cut That Out", "Sloppy Drunk", and "Early In The Morning". Williamson's style influenced a large number of blues harmonica performers, including Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells, Sonny Terry, Little Walter, and Snooky Pryor among many others. He was easily the most widely heard and influential blues harmonica player of his generation. His music was also influential on many of his non-harmonica playing contemporaries and successors, including Muddy Waters (who had played with Williamson in the mid-1940s) and Jimmy Rogers (whose first recording in 1946 was as a harmonica player, performing an uncanny imitation of Williamson's style); both Waters and Rogers later recorded cover versions of Williamson's songs.

    He was popular enough that by the 1940s, another blues harp player, Aleck/Alex "Rice" Miller, who was based in Helena, Arkansas, began also using the name Sonny Boy Williamson. John Lee objected to this, though no legal action took place, possibly due to the fact that Miller did not release any records during Williamson's lifetime, and also that Williamson played mainly around the Chicago area, and Miller seldom ventured beyond the Mississippi delta region.

    Williamson recorded prolifically both as a bandleader and a sideman over the entire course of his career, mainly for the Bluebird record label, with many early sessions taking place at the Leland Hotel in Aurora, Illinois; most later sessions were recorded in Chicago. His final recording session took place in December 1947, backing Big Joe Williams. On June 1, 1948, John Lee Williamson was killed in a mugging on Chicago's South Side, as he walked home from his final performance at The Plantation Club, a tavern just a block and a half away from his home.

    His legacy has been greatly overshadowed in the post-war blues era by the popularity of the musician who falsely assumed his name (who after Williamson's death went on to record many popular blues songs for Chicago's Checker Records label and others; he also toured Europe several times during the 'blues revival' in the early 1960s).

    Williamson is buried at the former site of The Blairs Chapel Church, southwest of Jackson, Tennessee. In 1991, a red granite marker was purchased by fans and family to mark the site of his burial. A Tennessee historical marker, also placed in 1991, indicates the place of his birth and describes his influence on blues music. The historical marker is located south of Jackson on TN Highway 18, at the corner of Caldwell Road.


Recommended
Chromatic Harmonicas and Gear

Hohner 980/40 Koch Chromatic Harmonica Key of C
Hohner 980/40 Koch Chromatic Harmonica;
Keys C & G

$79.99

Hohner 260/40 Chromonica Key of C
Hohner 260/40 Chromonica;
Key C

$109.98

Hohner 268/78 Double Bass-Extended Harmonica
Hohner 268/78 Double Bass-Extended Harmonica
$849.99

Shure SM58 Mic
Shure SM58 Mic
$99.99

Shure SM57 and SM58 Microphone Package
Shure SM57 and SM58 Microphone Package
$669.99

Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue 40W 1x12
Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue 40W 1x12" Combo Amp
$699.99

Boss GT-8 Guitar Multi Effects Processor
Boss GT-8 Guitar Multi Effects Processor
$445.00

For any matters regarding this web site, please contact:
webmaster@harmonica-players.com

1999-2010 Will Griffin Music
See All: Griffin Music Web Sites