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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
References in periodicals archive ?
At the age of 14 when he went to Manchester's Junior School of Art, he had access to a piano for the first time and he began to learn the basics, as well as mastering the guitar and a couple of years later, the harmonica, inspired by Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter.