Whoopin’ the Blues

Episode Air Date: January 9, 2018
Artist: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee
Recording Title: Whoopin' the Blues

You’re listening to one of the most distinctive signature sounds in all of recorded music, and…

You’re on the Sound Beat.

That telltale whoop belongs to Sonny Terry, one of the most influential harmonica players of all time. Blind, but not from birth, Terry lost his sight one eye at a time, first in early childhood, and the second in his late teens. He recorded “Whoopin’ the Blues” with Brownie McGhee in 1947 for Capitol Records. The Terry/McGhee partnership was one of the most prolific and is one of the most revered in blues history.

Check them out performing “Rock Island Line” at a live concert in front of a television audience in 1974 at the BBC.


Photo credit: Ian Chadwick

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2 Responses to “Whoopin’ the Blues”

  1. Steve
    October 26, 2015 at 11:12 #

    I first began listening to Sonny and Brownie in the late 60’s. Like for so many white budding musicians, they were a revelation. They opened doors we hadn’t known existed, about music, but more importantly, about race in America. Thanks, gentlemen, for a much richer world.

    • James O'Connor
      October 26, 2015 at 12:07 #

      Well put, Steve.

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