Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Song of the Week: Sonny Boy Williamson (I) - Good Morning School Girl

In a recent post about Led Zeppelin stealing music from Sonny Boy Williamson (aka, Aleck Rice Miller),  I hinted to the fact that the Sonny Boy Williamson in question stole more than just a song or two. In fact he stole an entire identity.

Aleck Rice Miller took the name Sonny Boy Williamson in 1941 while performing on The King Biscuit Time radio show out of Helena, Arkansas. Apparently at the suggestion of the show's promoter, Max Moore. The idea was to capitalize on the established name of a harmonica pioneer who hadn't been seen in that part of the world for a number of years. A bit of a ghost legend. The problem was John Lee Curtis Williamson, known by the nickname Sonny Boy, was alive and well and living up in Chicago. So it was, two Sonny Boy Williamson's, one a Tennessee native living in Chicago, and another, from Mississippi, were performing around the country at the same time. One primarily in the North. The other predominantly playing in the South. 

Today we listen to the original Sonny Boy Williamson perform his 1937 original composition for Bluebird records, Good Morning School Girl. The song became a staple in the blues world. Muddy Waters performed it, Chuck Berry performed it. The Yardbirds performed a variation on it, The Grateful Dead, John Lee Hooker, Rod Stewart, Van Morrison. Hell, you get the idea. Sonny Boy Williamson (ii) even covered it. 
Enjoy, until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!


  1. That harmonica is beautiful. Great vocal delivery too.

  2. DAMN! I never knewed there were 2 Sonny Boys... I was very familiar with Rice, but did not know of this previous guy. This one singing here sounds just like Rice Miller to me. Did Rice even try to emulate his style & mannerisms? Wow, ya learn sumthin new every day.

    1. They do sound similar don't they. Check out the post just after this for the Rice Miller Sonny Boy