Billy Boy Arnold

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Billy Boy Arnold (born September 16, 1935 in Chicago , Illinois ) is an American blues musician, a master on the harmonica.

Billy Boy Arnold (2007)


In 1948 young Arnold moved to the Mississippi Delta, where he went to see his idol, Sonny Boy Williamson . He willingly taught him a few tricks, but was murdered a little later.

In 1952 Arnold made his first recordings for the small COOL label, but they were unsuccessful. At the time he played regularly with Johnny Shines , Johnny Temple and Otis Rush in performances. In 1955 he accompanied Bo Diddley on his debut hit single Bo Diddley and I'm a Man . Arnold had a hit with I Wish You Would on Vee Jay Records , which was later re-recorded by the Yardbirds , as did I Ain't Got You - originally by Jimmy Reed . He also played in the famous APOLLO in New York City at the time.

Arnold's popularity waned in the 1960s. He worked temporarily as a bus driver in Chicago, later for the government of the state of Illinois . In the 1990s, however, he had a highly regarded comeback with the albums Back Where I Belong (Alligator 1993) and Eldorado Cadillac (1995). In 2001 the album Boogie 'n' Shuffle was released , where he worked with producer and musician Duke Robillard .

The bassist Jerome Arnold is a brother of Billy Boy (he is one of 16 children) and played a. a. with Paul Butterfield . Another brother is Augustus "Gus" Arnold, who also plays the harmonica and writes books. Better known by the name Julio Finn, Augustus Arnold has recorded and performed with artists as diverse as the Art Ensemble of Chicago , Archie Shepp , Linton Kwesi Johnson, and blues guitarist Eddie C. Campbell.

After Billy Boy Sings Sonny Boy (2008), a homage to Sonny Boy Williamson, he (together with Tony McPhee & the Groundhogs the album Blue and Lonseome (2012), including a tribute track for Big Bill Broonzy ) followed two years later The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold (2014).

In 2014 Arnold was among the nominees for the Blues Music Award in the category "Traditional Blues Male Artist of the Year". And he won together with Charlie Musselwhite, Mark Hummel, Sugar Ray Norcia, James Harman in the category “Traditional Blues Album of the Year” for the album Remembering Little Walter .



  • I Ain't Got No Money / Hello Stranger
  • I Was Fooled / I Wish You Would
  • Don't Stay Out All Night / I Ain't Got You
  • Here's My Picture / You've Got Me Wrong
  • My Heart Is Crying / Kissing At Midnight
  • Prisoner's Plea / Rockin 'Initis
  • I Wish You Would / Prisoner's Plea
  • You're My Girl / School Time
  • Yellow Rose From Texas Reverse-Esther Phillips: Nobody But You


  • 1957 Crying and Pleading
  • 1957 Blow the Back off It Red Lightnin '
  • 1963 More Blues on the South Side ; Prestige / Original Blues Classics
  • 1975 King of Chicago Blues, Vol. 3 ; Vogue
  • 1976 Sinner's Prayer ; Red Lightnin '(UK)
  • 1979 Checkin 'It Out ; Sequel (UK)
  • 1984 Ten Million Dollars ; Evidence
  • 1993 Back Where I Belong ; alligator
  • 1995 Eldorado Cadillac ; alligator
  • 1995 Going To Chicago ; testament
  • 1998 Blowin 'the Blues Away ; Culture Press
  • 2000 Live at the Venue ; Catfish
  • 2001 Boogie 'n' Shuffle ; Stony Plain
  • 2003 Chicago Blues Harp ; P-Vine Records
  • 2005 Consolidated Mojo ; Electro-Fi Records
  • 2007 Dirty Mother ; Music Avenue
  • 2008 Billy Boy Sings Sonny Boy ; Electro-Fi Records
  • 2012 Blue and Lonesome (Billy Boy Arnold with Tony McPhee & the Groundhogs); Red Lightnin
  • 2014 The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold ; Stony Plain - SPCD 1378

Guest appearances

  • 1979 Johnny Jones Live In Chicago With Billy Boy Arnold
  • 1993 Bo Diddley Bo's Blues
  • 1994 Phil Alvin County Fair 2000
  • 1996 James Cotton Feelin 'Good
  • 1999 Mississippi Heat Handyman
  • 2002 Mississippi Heat Footprints On The Ceiling
  • 2002 Jody Williams Return of a Legend
  • 2004 Blasters Blasters Live: Going Home
  • 2007 Tony McPhee & the Groundhogs Dirty Mother
  • 2009 Chicago Blues: A Living History


  • 2000 Chicago Blues Harmonica


  1. This does not mean the mouth region of the Mississippi south of Baton Rouge , Louisiana , but a region on the Mississippi in the state of the same name, see →  Lower Mississippi Delta Region and →  Yazoo River
  2. All Music track listing by Blue and Lonseome
  3. CD Reviews December 2014 "The Blues Soul of Billy Boy Arnold" ( Memento of the original from December 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Reviewed by Robert H. Cataliotti in Living Blues , December 2014  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. 2014 Blues Music Awards: Nominees include Charlie Musselwhite, Lurrie Bell & James Cotton