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Artist Info

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee
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Powered by Audioscrobbler™Walter "Brownie" McGhee (November 30, 1915 - February 16, 1996) was a folk-blues singer and guitarist, best known for his collaborations with the harmonica player Sonny Terry (October 24, 1911 - March 11, 1986).

Brownie McGhee was born in Kingsport, Tennessee and suffered from polio as a child, which incapacitated his leg. He spent much of his youth immersed in music, singing with local harmony group (the Golden Voices Gospel Quartet) and teaching himself the guitar. His real success did not come until his 1942 relocation to New York City, where he was teamed up with Sonny Terry. The pairing was an overnight success, recording and touring extensively until the early 1970s.

Saunders Terrell, better known as Sonny Terry, was a blues musician. He was born in Greensboro, North Carolina on October 24, 1911, and died on March 11, 1986 in Mineola, New York. He was most widely known for his energetic blues harmonica style which frequently included vocal whoops and hollers, and imitations of trains and fox hunts.

The pair recorded numerous tracks together. The duo became well-known, even among white audiences, as they joined the growing folk movement of the 1950s and '60s. This included collaborations with Woody Guthrie and Moses Asch, producing Folkways Records (now Smithsonian/Folkways) classic recordings.

Despite their fame as "pure" folk artists, in the 1940s, Sonny and Brownie fronted a jump blues combo with honking saxophone that was variously called Brownie McGhee and his Jook House Rockers or Sonny Terry and his Buckshot Five.
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