Sonny Holley

Sonny Holley cut a couple of fine 45s around the turn of the 70s under the direction of the late Tupelo, Mississippi based John Mihelic, owner of Statue records, who made such fine discs on artists like Lloyd Hendricks, Ann Bogus, Joyce Jones and Larry Hobson. The southern funk of “Titilate Your Sensibilities” was coupled with the easy mid pace of ListenSomeone On Your Mind, released on FMH, and the strutting boasts of “Mr Fix It Man” was the flip to ListenI Need You More, a foot tapping beat ballad on Vee-8. All four sides featured some strong rough vocals in the great southern tradition, and a classic soul horn section.

He issued a later Memphis 45 under the name “Holly” for An-Gel in 1980 both sides of which were rather let down by synth horns, but the swaying “Cheating Ain’t No Good” is worth checking out. The 45 later appeared on Cash Money in 1988.

UPDATE ~ My friend Greg Burgess writes with some more details about Sonny's life:-

"There is a chapter in Alan Young's 'Woke me Up This Morning - Black Gospel Singers and the Gospel Life' (1996) on the gospel singer James Holley who is Sonney's brother. Sonny gets a mention. The family were share-croppers originally from New Albany, Mississippi . Sonney was one of eleven children and an extended family that included violin players and a guitar player (his father) . Naturally the church was where they performed but the blues was allowed at home and Holley vividly describes how they made instruments using nails and wire . The family moved to Blue Mountain and then to Ripley, Mississippi. Sonney and James Holley  moved to Memphis in the late 60s where they joined a group called the Trickers who later became known as The Thumping Gizzard Band. James Holley, whose story this is then got three years for having sex with a thirteen year old. Shortly afterwards he found God and a career as a pastor and gospel singer in Memphis. In the 90s Jameswas playing guitar on Sundays at Al Green's Gospel Tabernacle Church."

I'm very grateful to Greg as always for his knowledge.



ListenSomeone on your mind / Titilate your sensibilities ~ FMH 1001 (1966?)
Mr Fix-it man / ListenI need you more (than you need to be free) ~ VEE-EIGHT 270 (1970)
Cheating ain't no good / Thank you for loving me ~ CASH MONEY 425 (1988) / AN-GEL 425 (1990)


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