Episode 3 – Sonny Boy Williamson

Sonny Boy

 

John Lee Curtis “Sonny Boy” Williamson grew up in Jackson, TN. He introduced the harmonica as a solo instrument for blues performers and electrified its sound with a $200 public address amplifier.  Billy Boy Arnold met Sonny Boy and asked him to teach him to play the harmonica.  Before Sonny Boy was killed in Chicago, he taught the eleven year old Bill Boy to play, bending notes and inhaling through the instrument to provide breath to sing and play simultaneously.  Billy Boy relates his memories his visits to Sonny Boy’s house and beginning a life-long career and a blues harmonica player himself. 

19 minutes by car from The Carnegie Museum

Head west on E College St toward N Church St
0.1 mi
Turn left onto N Highland Ave
0.1 mi
Turn right onto W Main St
0.2 mi
Turn left onto State Hwy 8183/Riverside Dr
2.6 mi
Turn right onto Steam Mill Ferry Rd
6.7 mi
Turn left onto Blairs Chapel Rd
0.4 mi
Look for a small white metal pole on left, walk up gravel path to top of hill, grave is on your right.  Musicians have been visiting for many years, leaving a harmonica or a note.

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