01 June 2017
June 1, 1948: Death of a Blues Legend
On this date in 1948, bluesman John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson (not to be confused with another musician who had appropriated his name), was murdered during a robbery in Chicago, IL.
Williamson was walking home after playing a gig at Chicago’s Plantation Club when he was attacked by a man armed with an icepick. His last words were reported to have been, “Lord have mercy.” Details of the crime are hard to come by, but there is no indication that the killer was ever brought to justice.
Here’s Sonny Boy performing his 1947 hit “Shake the Boogie.”
Biography.com - Sonny Boy Williamson
Encyclopedia Britannica - Sonny Boy Williamson (American Musician)
The Blues Harp Page – Sonny Boy Williamson I
Fact Monster – Sonny Boy Williamson
Wikipedia – Sonny Boy Williamson I
Labels: 1948, Blues, Chicago, John DuMond, John Lee Williamson, Murder, Sonny Boy Williamson, The Original Sonny Boy Williamson
Writer of fiction and true crime. He is the author of Under the Wall: The True Story of the 1945 Tunnel Escape from Eastern State Penitentiary and Over the Wall: The True Story of the 1947 Escape from Holmesburg Prison. He is an Army veteran and a retired Air National Guard Master Sergeant. He currently lives in Albany, NY where he works as an investigator.