Terry, Sonny

Terry, Sonny (b. Sanders Terrel)

(1911–86) blues singer, harmonica player; born in Greensboro, Ga. He learned harmonica as a child and began earning a living in the streets at a young age. In 1938 he performed at the "From Spirituals to Swing" concert at Carnegie Hall, displaying a unique virtuosity that involved bending and modulating notes. From the 1940s into the 1980s he performed widely with guitarist Brownie McGhee but also cut many solo albums.