Sonny Terry

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Today is the birthday of Sonny Terry (Saunders Terrell, 1911-1986). The North Carolina farm boy learned to play blues harp from his father and lost his eyesight due to injury by the time he was 16. Terry became a professional musician out of necessity, first playing with Blind Boy Fuller, and then establishing a long-standing musical partnership with Brownie McGhee which lasted from 1941 until his death.

Here are Sonny and terry playing the “Hootin’ Blues”:

To find out more about show business past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.

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For more on silent and slapstick comedy please see my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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