Nothing but ......

Monday, August 28, 2006

Nothing But The Blues XXVIII

It seems only logical that disc 28 focuses on this third great performer from this little Piedmont Blues group: Sonny Terry.
Sonny was born as Saunders Terrel in North Carolina in 1911. In contrary to Fuller his musical examples came from his own family. His father (Reuben) was a gifted mouth organ player who taught him the secrets of this instrument when he was only 6. Saunders originally wanted to be a framer, like his father, but with two accidents (1922 and 1927) he lost the light in both eyes. As a blind boy he had to make a living as a musician. When Saunders father died in the mid twenties Saunders was more or less forced to join traveling musical companies or live as a street musician.
After his meeting with Blind Boy Fuller he became a well respected blues musician. His very first recordings are tracks 3 and 8 on our posting of yesterday. When Blind Boy Fuller died in 1941 he was 'replaced' by Brownie McGhee (disc 19 & 20). Sonny switched from Blind Boy to Brownie without any troubles. As a matter of fact. With Brownie McGhee he was probably the most successful folk / blues duo of the 40's and 50's. The most amazing part of this success might be the fact that the two more or less became the centre of the white folk scene in New York. Here they inspired and worked with people like: Leadbelly (disc 11 & 12), Woody Guthrie, Pete Seegers and Cisco Houston. Terry also worked together with Harry Belafonte.
When Sonny Terry died in 1986 he left a large audience which had to miss his 'whoops', 'hollers' and train imitations.
All the tracks on this disc date from New York 1947. On tracks 1, 5, 7, 10, and 11 the guitar is played by Brownie McGhee. The guitar on the other tracks is played by Stick McGhee (Brownie's younger brother). All the compositions are Sonny Terry's originals.

The password = "scrooge".
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