Harmonica player Little Sonny reports that his longtime friend, Eddie Burns, passed away Wednesday at the age of 84.
Burns, who was born Feb. 8, 1928 in Mississippi, was an outstanding blues singer, harmonica player and guitarist who was active on the music scene for seven decades. Burns settled in Detroit in 1948 and was a member of John Lee Hooker’s band. He backed up Hooker on the recording “Real Folk Blues.” Burns also had several solo recordings of his own.
“Eddie Burns and Washboard Willie were the first guys who gave me a chance,” Little Sonny said. “They helped me become what I am.”
Little Sonny performed with Burns on his last show in 2008 at the Motor City Blues & Boogie Woogie Festival at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts that also featured Bobby Rush and Otis Clay.
Burns was already ailing at that time, and Little Sonny was not sure it was a good idea, but, in retrospect, he’s glad he was able to perform with Burns at what turned out to be his friend’s last show.
“I did some of my first stuff with him and his last stuff was with me,” Little Sonny said. “It was a miracle how it worked out.”
Little Sonny described Burns as a “lost legend.”
“So many people don’t know who he is, but he was such a great artist.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.
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