After moving to Detroit, Little Sonny changed his career focus when he discovered the money that could be made as a musician. He realized his earning potential after watching Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) perform at a Detroit nightclub.
|Little Sonny, left, and John Lee Hooker are pictured in front of Joe's Record Shop at 3530 Hastings Street in Detroit in 1959. Joe's, which was run by Joe Von Battle, included a recording studio with releases on JVB, Von and Battle labels.|
Little Sonny, now 78, has been semi-retired for years, following the death of his beloved wife 16 years ago. He last performed in public two years ago at a tribute to his longtime friend Eddie Burns, who is ailing.
Little Sonny headlines Friday on the first night of the two-day Anti-Freeze Blues Festival at the Magic Bag in Ferndale. Also on the bill will be Mr. B, Bill Kirchen and Detroit’s Queen of the Blues, singer Alberta Adams, with RJ & the Rhythm Rockers and special guest guitarist Jeff Grand. Saturday’s lineup includes The Blasters, Laith Al Saadi, Motor City Josh and Black Beauty. Tickets are $25. Proceeds benefit the Detroit Blues Society. For more information, call (248) 544-3030 or click www.themagicbag.com.