Sonny Boy Williamson II.

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Sonny Boy Williamson II

. Sonny Boy Williamson II (* 11. March 1908 or at the 5. December 1899 or 1912 in Glendora , Mississippi ; † 24 / 25. May 1965 in Helena , Arkansas , real name Aleck / Alex "Rice" Miller ) was a US -american blues musician.

Live and act

Sonny Boy Williamson II was an illegitimate son of Millie Ford. He took the surname of his stepfather Jim Miller (or was given) at a young age. Around 1920 he taught himself to play the harmonica . In the 1930s he married Mary Burnett, sister of Chester Burnett, who later called himself Howlin 'Wolf . During this time the two played together occasionally. Otherwise Williamson played for weeks or months with musicians like Elmore James , Willie Love or Robert Johnson . The most important player from this time, however, was Robert Lockwood , known as Robert Junior. The two performed together for the first time in 1931 and toured together in the southern United States from 1938.

On November 19, 1941, the duo made their first appearance on the radio. At this point, Sonny Boy Williamson also got his stage name. Since there was already a well-known blues musician named Sonny Boy Williamson , he is known as "Sonny Boy Williamson II." In 1951 he recorded the piece Eyesight to the Blind , which he later recorded again in Chicago under the name Born Blind . This piece is also found on the album Tommy by The Who again. Over the next four years he recorded another nine albums. From 1954, his wife lived in Milwaukee while he made recordings in Chicago with Tampa Red and in Detroit with Baby Boy Warren . Later he came, more precisely his contract, to Chess Records . Sonny Boy had a big hit in 1955 with Don't Start Me Talkin '. Musicians like Willie Dixon , Muddy Waters , Otis Spann , Jimmy Rogers and Fred Below can also be heard on this recording . At Chess he met Robert Lockwood again, with whom he made more recordings for the next five years. Then he took a break from work.

Williamson's grave in Tutwiler, Mississippi, with incorrect dates March 11, 1908 - June 23, 1965.

On January 12, 1963, Sonny Boy returned to the Chess Studios after a long break. There the song Help Me was written . The B-side Bye Bye Bird was added to their program by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers . Thanks to this success, he toured Europe several times between 1963 and 1965, where he appeared with Chris Barber , the Yardbirds , the Animals , Jimmy Page and Brian Auger , among others . With the Yardbirds and Animals he recorded a live album each and with Brian Auger and Jimmy Page in January 1965 the studio LP Don't Send Me No Flowers. In May 1965 Sonny Boy Williamson II traveled to Helena to perform there. During this performance, his guitarist Robbie Robertson observed that he was constantly spitting blood on his handkerchief. On May 25, 1965, he was found dead in his bed and buried in Tutwiler , Mississippi.

He was inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Aleck Miller: "Sonny Boy" Williamson II (1912? –1965) . In: Arkansas Biography: A Collection of Notable Lives , University of Arkansas Press, as of September 10, 2014.