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Sonny Terry

Biography

Born into a musical family, the blind Sonny Terry learned how to play harmonica to earn his keep, and ended up creating a signature sound widely admired and perhaps even more widely imitated. Terry toured for years with Brownie McGhee, riding a wave of renewed interest in folk music that began in the late 1950s. He thrilled audiences with his earthy Acoustic Blues, and his harmonica work is still among the loveliest to be found: tightly woven, countrified, and engaged in a perpetual dialogue with other instruments. His trademark high-pitched yawps -- which he emitted between phrases almost without volition -- were directly imitated by countless musicians. Nonetheless, there's nothing like hearing an original, and that he is -- a down-home, down-to-earth original whose work could make a stone shed tears.
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