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date: 16 December 2019

Terry, Sonnylocked

(24 October 1911–12 March 1986)
  • Richard Carlin

Extract

Terry, Sonny (24 October 1911–12 March 1986), blues harmonica player and vocalist, was born Sanders Terrell in Greensboro, North Carolina, the son of Ruben Terrell, a tenant farmer, and Mossiline Smith, a singer. Terry learned to play folk-blues harmonica from his father, who was an amateur musician. Two unrelated childhood injuries led to the loss of sight in both of his eyes. Not unlike other black, blind men at the time, Terry took up a musical career because he was unable to obtain other work. He began to travel to nearby cities, playing on street corners and begging for change. In Durham, he met another blind street musician, ...

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