Sonny Boy Williamson

Not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Eligible since: 1984 (The 1985 Induction Ceremony)

Previously Considered? No  what's this?


Inducted into Rock Hall Projected in 2013 (ranked #42 in the Influences - Pre-Rock Era category) .

Sonny Boy Williamson @ Wikipedia

Sonny Boy Williamson Videos

Will Sonny Boy Williamson be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
"Musical excellence is the essential qualification for induction."
   

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15 comments so far (post your own)

Sonny Boy Williamson II (Alex "Rice" Miller" 1912-1965 is mentioned in more bluesmen's biographies than any single artist. As early as 1938, he and Robert Lockwood Jr. were playing electric blues through car radios and jukeboxes -- six years before Muddy Waters owned an electric guitar. King Biscuit Time (1941-date) was a major influence with its 15 minutes at lunch as the only black radio show heard by the 10% of the U. S. black population which lived within 75 miles of the radio station. Although he did not record until 1951 he was clearly a major delta blues star since 1929 0r 1930. He was the "big fish in a small bowl" that drove many bluesmen to leave for Chicago: Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, James Cotton, and more. Sonny Boy just got the jobs and promoted them on King Biscuit Time. He recorded first for Trumpet and then Chess and was one of the last delta bluesmen to move to Chicago. In 1963 he had a hit with "Help Me" (Muddy hadn't had a chart hit for eight years at the time) which was the first Chess 45 to be released on both sides of the Atlantic. His appearances on the American Folk Blues Festival in 1963 and 1964 were electric and his willingness indeed compulsiveness to jam with budding British blues artists endeared him to and inspired many of them. In fact more tributes to Sonny Boy were recorded than any other bluesman after his death: The Moody Blues, John Mayall, and many more. Returning to the U. S. he recorded some timeless but unreleased songs with a modern Buddy Guy and return to Helena Arkansas to do King Biscuit Time and die. Before he died he jammed with the Canadian group that would become The Band. Think about it. Had Sonny Boy been with The Band and opened for Bob Dylan's electric tour of Europe Dylan might not have been booed and Sonny Boy's star would have shined brightly.
From wandering the delta with Robert Johnson to inspiring a young Eric Clapton, the Yardbirds and The Animals is reason enough to be recognized in the Rock Hall of Fame. Alas, it probably won't happen because he died with his secrets still intact: He was an escaped convict who used one man's name (John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson) and another's as his alias (his brother Willie Miller who was born in 1897). Incidentally the first tribute record was "King Biscuit Stomp" with John Lee Williamson and Big Joe Williams -- five years before Rice Miller recorded his first record and both had shows on KFFA at the same time. Sonny Boy was brave enough to tell the world where he was at noon each week day and where he was going to play tonight while still being an escaped convict. He was "Hiding In The Spotlight" and giving "Eyesight To The Blind."

Posted by Bill Donoghue on Wednesday, 04.11.07 @ 13:10pm


One of the great bluesmen. Ought to be in.

Posted by Paul in KY on Thursday, 07.10.08 @ 12:29pm


Since Blues is now Rock LOL
YES 4 SHO

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 10.29.08 @ 22:08pm


Duh YES LOL since blues is rock LOL...
It's the real thang {SMILE}

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 09.9.09 @ 23:27pm


A real blues man "Good Morning Little School" Girl" to name only 1 of his tunes.......not Hollywoods version of da blues... LOL

Posted by mrxyz on Wednesday, 11.25.09 @ 21:54pm


If you want to know what the blues sound like, Sonny Boy Williamson is a fantastic beginning, Old Sonny Boy was a marvelous player and singer. Blues is like a good home cooked meal. Todays blues, if you want to call it blues ,is like all the fast food corporate gaints telling you it's "just like the real thing".,,!They sell millions like rock does. Not many blues player have or ever will sell millions . They like most jazz players are into it for the love an passion not the fame an money..So you may not hear many blues player unless you look for them.

Posted by L-7 on Wednesday, 03.3.10 @ 11:49am


If you want to listen to a badass blues album, get 'The Real Folk Blues'. You'll be glad you did.

Posted by Paul in KY on Wednesday, 03.3.10 @ 12:59pm


"Todays blues, if you want to call it blues ,is like all the fast food corporate gaints telling you it's 'just like the real thing'."

Truthful Statement Award.

Makes me think of that scene in Ghost World with the band Blueshammer. The only amplified blues style that I can listen to that doesn't conjure up greasy trailer park sex is the stuff in the vein of Muddy Water's Got My Mojo Workin'. The art of the likes of Blind Willie McTell, Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, and Bukka White doesn't exist anymore.

Posted by Elastic Man on Thursday, 03.4.10 @ 02:15am




"Todays blues, if you want to call it blues ,is like all the fast food corporate gaints telling you it's 'just like the real thing'."

Truthful Statement Award.

Makes me think of that scene in Ghost World with the band Blueshammer. The only amplified blues style that I can listen to that doesn't conjure up greasy trailer park sex is the stuff in the vein of Muddy Water's Got My Mojo Workin'. The art of the likes of Blind Willie McTell, Charlie Patton, Blind Willie Johnson, and Bukka White doesn't exist anymore.

Posted by Elastic Man on Thursday, 03.4.10 @ 02:15am


I find your statement heart warming! Keep the faith...

Posted by L-7 on Friday, 03.5.10 @ 05:01am


How is Sony Boy not in the Hall yet. This has to be the biggest oversight of all time. Artist like Muddy Watters and B.B King are who they are because of Sony Boy Williamson.

I hope the Hall corrects this soon!

Posted by Brian on Saturday, 04.2.11 @ 01:07am


It's a downright shame that this man, one of the greatest bluesmen ever, is not in the Hall. Apart from the Deep Purple snub this is the greatest stinker in the history of the Hall. Eyesight to the Blind!

Posted by Robert on Tuesday, 11.15.11 @ 11:15am


Another blues giant who sadly has not yet been considered. I'd induct him as an Early Influence, considering he started playing in the 1930s and began recording in 1951 for the Trumpet Records label in 1951. Williamson also had his own radio show on KWEM in Memphis in 1948 to 1950 and had earlier played on King Biscuit Time out of KFFA in Helena, Arkansas in 1941. Listing his year of eligibility as 1959 isn't accurate.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 09.17.12 @ 17:21pm


I agee Zach..It is a true miscarriage Of justice..
When you realize that the old real blues is a large part of the foundation of rock...Those old blues player really had the feel..

Posted by Happy on Monday, 09.17.12 @ 22:06pm


The Deep Purple snub is an outrage! Let's do something about it!

Posted by Penelope on Sunday, 12.30.12 @ 21:41pm


Will the rube who voted "no" for Sonny Boy Williamson please stand up? I reckon that poor soul is either playing a joke or just wet behind the ears, musically speaking.


Posted by Zach on Friday, 11.8.13 @ 13:14pm


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