Sonny Terry started playing harmonica in his teens, as a blind street musician in North Carolina. After a stint with a medicine show, he hooked up with the popular ragtime singer/guitarist Blind Boy Fuller. When he was 23, he made his recording debut, backing up Fuller. Barely a year later in 1938, he was wowing New York audiences at Carnegie Hall, appearing solo as part of John Hammond's Spirituals to Swing concert.
Sonny Terry died in 1986, leaving behind many recordings and numerous fans -- as well as harmonica players trying to duplicate his virtuosity. He was a true originator and a powerful entertainer.