Re: [Harp-L] Willie Dixon Controversy
Back in the day before radio play headed towards a nationwide awareness of
artists, Rice Miller took the name Sonny Boy II with the hope to ride up on the
coattails of an already established name - Sonny Boy Williamson. He got gigs
because of the name recognition. I don't have the exact detailed story
regarding this, but do remember reading that Sonny Boy I didn't find out about
this until Sonny Boy II started getting some radio play using the name - and
Sonny Boy I was none too happy.
History is rife with stories like this - taking something that didn't belong
to an artist and making it his own without giving proper credit. Hey, maybe
those old days were as hard as our new faltering economy in regards to making
a living, so people did "what they had to do" in order to survive.
Same could be said of "The Iceman" moniker. It is trademarked by the soul
singer out of Chicago, Jerry Butler, who calls himself The Ice Man. Although he
splits it into two words, I'm quite sure I'll hear from his lawyers if one
day I make a hit record using that name.
Since I am a poor historian and can not quote my source on the Sonny Boy
story, take this remembrance with a grain of salt or hopefully another on the
"L" may have more specifics.
In a message dated 11/25/2008 3:26:24 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
At 11:39 AM 11/25/2008, you wrote:
>POP ! Thats the sound of my bubble bursting. Istill like Willie,though.
Keep that bubble intact. There's a whole lot of music that wouldn't have
gotten made without Willie Dixon. He was a great producer, studio
musician, and alot of those songs are either his for real, or he did the
adaptation that we all love now. He's the bass player on most of those
classic Chuck Berry records, for goodness sake.
You can hear it in the Big Three Trio stuff, too - he understood what the
audience wanted and how to shape what they got.
You can say this about very few people: without him, no rock and roll.
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