Snooky Pryor

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Snooky Pryor

James Edward "Snooky" Pryor (born September 15, 1921 in Lambert , Mississippi , † October 18, 2006 in Cape Girardeau , Missouri ) was an influential African American blues singer and harmonica player .

Live and act

Pryor was - next to Little Walter - one of the pioneers of the 'fat', intensified playing style of the 'blues harp'. While serving in the Army, he first blew signals through an amplifier system on a military trumpet, prompting him to try the same on his harmonica. After his discharge from the Army, he bought his own amplifier and began playing on Maxwell Street in Chicago , but also in clubs, and recorded a number of shellac records on various record labels by the late 1950s , including for the label JOB

Pryor counted Sonny Boy Williamson I and Sonny Boy Williamson II to his musical role models.

Nine Below Zero , Judgment Day , Crazy 'Bout My Baby , How'd You Learn to Shake It Like That and Shake My Hand are his most famous songs.

Snooky Pryor died on October 18, 2006 in a hospital in Cape Girardeau , Missouri , at the age of 85.



  • "Boogie" b / w "Telephone Blues" (1948) Planet
  • "Someone to Love Me" b / w "Judgment Day" (1956) Vee-Jay Records


  • Homesick James & Snooky Pryor (1973) Virgin Records, London
  • Do It If You Want To (1973) ABC Records, Los Angeles, New York
  • Snooky (1989) Blind Pig Records
  • Snooky Pryor (1991) Paula Records
  • Johnny Shines and Snooky Pryor: Back To The Country (1991) Blind Pig Records
  • Snooky Pryor: Too Cool To Move (1992) Antones
  • In This Mess Up to My Chest (1994) Antones
  • Mind Your Own Business (1996) Antones
  • Snooky Pryor: Shake My Hand (1999) Blind Pig Records
  • Can't Stop Blowin '(1999) Electro-Fi
  • Super Harps II with Carey Bell , Lazy Lester , Rafuel Neal (2001) Telarc
  • Snooky Pryor and his Mississippi Wrecking Crew (2002) Electro-Fi
  • Mojo Ramble (2003) Electro-Fi
  • Double Shot Snooky Pryor and Mel Brown (2005) Electro-Fi

Guest musicians (selection)

  • Homesick James Ain't Sick No More (1973)
  • Homesick James Sad and Lonesome (1980)
  • Memphis Slim, Matt Murphy, Eddie Taylor Together Again One More Time / Still Not Ready For Eddie (1990)
  • Johnny Shines Back To The Country (1991)
  • Bob Margolin My Blues & My Guitar (1995)
  • Sunnyland Slim 1949–1951 (2002)
  • Down The Dirt Road: The Songs Of Charley Patton (2001)
  • Big Bill Morganfield Born Lover (2009)