Blues Musicians’ Graves
The grave of Sonny Boy Williamson II (Aleck “Rice” Miller) is in a small cemetery just outside Tutwiler, Tallahatchie County, Mississippi.
The photo above shows how the cemetery in which Sonny Boy Williamson is buried appears from the road. The cemetery was once a church cemetery, but the church is no longer standing at this site.
Sonny Boy Williamson’s grave is at the back of the cemetery in the treeline.
The GPS location of Sonny Boy Williamson’s grave is N34° 01.108′ W90° 27.464′
The photo above shows the headstone on Sonny Boy Williamson’s grave.
The inscription reads:
BETTER KNOWN AS
WILLIE SONNY BOY WILLIAMSON
BORN MAR. 11, 1908
DIED JUNE 23, 1965
JIM MILLER AND MINNIE MILLER
INTERNATIONALLY FAMOUS HARMONICA AND VOCAL BLUES ARTIST DISCOVERED AND RECORDED BY TRUMPET RECORDS, JACKSON MISS. FROM 1950 TO 1955.”
Sonny Boy Williamson’s grave was unmarked until 1980, when this monument was erected by Lillian McMurray, the founder of Trumpet Records in Jackson, Mississippi, who had first recorded Sonny Boy Williamson in 1951.
Here is a link to a page about Sonny Boy Williamson’s grave on the Mt. Zion Memorial Fund website.
Here is a Google Maps reference to the location of Sonny Boy Williamson’s grave:
Here are some videos of Sonny Boy Williamson:
Bye Bye Bird (1963)
I’m A Lonely Man
Here are some Sonny Boy Williamson recordings we are recommending:
- Cool, Cool Blues – this is a 4 CD set on JSP Records which is being marketed as a Sonny Boy Williamson collection but which is actually a compilation of Trumpet Records recordings 1951-1954. Sonny Boy Williamson made his first recordings for Trumpet Records in 1951. Lillian McMurry of Trumpet Records placed the headstone on Sonny Boy Williamson’s grave. All the Sonny Boy Williamson recordings for Trumpet Records are included in this collection.
- Sonny Boy Williamson: His Best – this is a collection of 20 Sonny Boy Williamson recordings on Chess Records. It includes most of Sonny Boy Williamson’s best known recordings.
- Down And Out Blues – this 2 CD set contains Sonny Boy Williamson’s classic Down And Out Blues album, released on Chess Records in 1959, some bonus Chess Records tracks, and Sonny Boy Williamson’s Trumpet Records recordings from 1951-54.
- The Real Folk Blues – a collection of 12 Sonny Boy Williamson recordings made by Chess Records between 1957 and 1963. Released by Chess Records in January 1966, six months after Sonny Boy Williamson’s death in Helena, Arkansas.
The Real Folk Blues / More Real Folk Blues – a single CD of 2 Sonny Boy Williamson albums released by Chess Records in 1966 and 1967
Here’s a video of Robbie Robertson talking about meeting Sonny Boy Williamson in Helena, Arkansas a few months before Sonny Boy Williamson died in 1965:
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