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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Monday, February 13, 2012

So Long Baby Goodbye - Sammy Lewis and Willie Johnson


The productive and all too brief meeting between vocalist / harmonica player Sammy Lewis and guitarist Willie Johnson produced one of the best blues issued by Sun Records. In the eyes of many collectors and blues fans - including this writer - there is no finer blues side ever cut on Sun than "I Feel So Worried" (Sun 218). Even rockabilly fans who merely tolerate Sun blues are often fond of this record, owing in no small way to Willie Johnson's guitar style. Recorded on March 28, 1955, it was the only time that Lewis and Johnson recorded together. The flipside, So Long Baby Goodbye" is more conventional R&B. The third song from this session, "Gonna Leave You Baby", was obviously not issued by Sam Phillips because the harmonica and guitar are terribly out of tune with each other. Willie Johnson, who was born in Senatobia, Mississippi, on March 24, 1923, played with Howlin' Wolf as far back as 1942. He played on a number of Sun sessions before recording with Lewis. Soon afterwards he headed for Chicago to rejoin Wolf's band where he remained until 1961. Sammy Lewis continued working in Memphis after Johnson moved north, working with an assortment of bands. Lewis was influenced by Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter on his Sun recordings. He went on to cut sides for the West Memphis 8th Street label and was thought to have died until he was rediscovered in 1970, still playing in West Memphis.
Ref "This Is My Story"
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