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Snooky Pryor

Only recently has Snooky Pryor finally begun to receive full credit for the mammoth role he played in shaping the amplified Chicago blues harp sound during the postwar era. He's long claimed he was the first harpist to run his sound through a public address system around the Windy City -- and since nobody's around to refute the claim at this point, we'll have to accept it! James Edward Pryor was playing harmonica at the age of eight in Mississippi. The two Sonny Boys were influential to Pryor's emerging style, as he played around the Delta. He hit Chicago for the first time in 1940, later serving in the Army at nearby Fort Sheridan. Playing his harp through powerful Army PA systems gave Pryor the idea to acquire his own portable rig once he left the service. Armed with a primitive amp, he dazzled the folks on Maxwell Street in late 1945 with his massively amplified harp. Pryor made some groundbreaking 78s during the immediate postwar Chicago blues era. Teaming with guitarist Moody Jones, he waxed "Telephone Blues" and "Boogie" for Planet Records in 1948, encoring the next year with "Boogy Fool"/"Raisin' Sand" for JOB with Jones on bass and guitarist Baby Face Leroy Foster in support. Pryor made more classic sides for JOB (1952-1953), Parrot (1953), and Vee-Jay ("Someone to Love Me"/"Judgment Day") in 1956, but commercial success never materialized. He wound down his blues-playing in the early '60s, finally chucking it all and moving to downstate Ullin, IL, in 1967. For a long while, Pryor's whereabouts were unknown. But the 1987 Blind Pig album Snooky, produced by guitarist Steve Freund, announced to the world that the veteran harpist was alive and well, his chops still honed. A pair of solid discs for Antone's, Too Cool to Move and In This Mess Up to My Chest, followed. Pryor stayed busy until his death in 2006. ~ Bill Dahl
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: An Introduction To Snooky Pryor

1. Snooky And Moody's Boogie

2. Telephone Blues

3. Boogy Fool

4. Raisin' Sand

5. Fine Boogie

6. I'm Getting Tired

7. Going Back On The Road

8. Hold Me In Your Arms

9. (Real) Fine Boogie

10. Harp Instrumental

11. Cryin' Shame

12. Eighty Nine Ten

13. Stop The Train Conductor

14. Walking Boogie

15. Uncle Sam Don't Take My Man

16. Boogie Twist

17. I Can't Feel Good No More

18. Big Guns

x

Track List: Mind Your Own Business

1. Mind Your Own Business

2. Come On Down To My House

3. Goin' Back To Arkansas

4. Motty And Me

5. I'm So Glad

6. You Set Me Free

7. Miss Fanny Brown

8. Good Or Bad Times

9. Shake Your Boogie

10. Diggin' My Potatoes

11. No More Monkey Business

12. Little Brown Hen

x

Track List: In This Mess Up To My Chest

1. Bury You In A Paper Sack

2. Pay For All Our Sins

3. Stick Way Out Behind

4. Can I Get A Witness

5. When The Saints Go Marchin In

6. Take It Easy Greasy

7. Slow Down Baby

8. Bluebird Blues (Live)

9. Hello Little Baby

10. She Tried To Ruin Me

11. My Baby's Too Sweet To Die

12. Judgement Day

x

Track List: Too Cool To Move

1. Keyhole In Your Door

2. Can I Be Your Friend*

3. Bottle It Up And Go

4. Hold Me In Your Arms

5. Don't You Want To Know*

6. Cheatin' And Lyin'

7. Walkin' With Snooky

8. Fire, Fire

9. Coal Black Mare

10. Lovin' You Is Killin' Me

11. Boogie Twist

12. My Baby Been Gone

13. Please Be Careful

Comments

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Love this music. Cant help but tap your toes and clap your hands.
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��®������
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The Blues legend.
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Why had I nrver heard of him? \(@¿@)/
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love the lyrics along with the harp
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Supposed to give credit where it's due to begin with
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mpryor0016 - Yes! Your Dad is awesome! Great talent and spirit!
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Outfknstandi n g bluz player
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This man got some soul...love his jive.
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I. Feel picking watermellons in Selma Al 1960 back when it was farm country
Gunslinger88 5 3
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Snooky gave this old white guy the meaning of the blues. Glad I found him 30 yrs ago
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That's my Dad he is awesome
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Awesome!!!!!
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I used to sell Snooky harmonicas back in the day . . . . Hohner Special Twenty harps in the key of D. Man he was a monster player for sure! Livin' and playin' the blues Snooky style! RIP Snooky. His son Rip Lee Pryor tears it up too!
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Blues yeah........ . . . .
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The Original Snooky
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got to love Snooky!
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U go Snooky!!!
AWESUM!!!
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michael76954
never hurd of him I have been listen to blues for fifty years
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Love this blues artist! I'd say his style is somewhere between Howlin' Wolf and Junior Kimbrough - both very excellent artists representing different blues subgenres, whilst both being distinct from the Albert King (whose music isn't really my cup of tea) brand of blues.
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woooh
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nice chilling music
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sweet
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wooh go ahead snooky pryor
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=)
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hahaha wooooh
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oh yeah
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hah
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yessir
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RIP BROTHER
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Snooky Pryor Mississippi Boy
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lol haha
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oh yeah!!!!!
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oh, YEAH!!!!!!!! ! ! hahahahahaha heck yeah
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That's gotta be the best harmonic playing Ive ever heard.
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very good
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wicked
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My dad used to work at Fort Sheridan. But it may have been a little later than Snooky's time. Wish Dad was still around to ask him :0
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The bluzzz burnzzz go'in down here 5m14y
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wohoo
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rockyfletche r . r f
Just heard him on down child blues band radio a lost treasure sounds really clean!
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orondomailma n
Considering the equipment available to Snooky at the time of this recording the sound is very clean and pure harp.
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Gotta love that sweet down home style... gets into your soul.
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Wow
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Makes ya feel goooood!
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Luv me some o school blues.
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Did not hear him on my john Mayall and the blues breakers radio odd?
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That's J Geils I can spell!!Yeah check out John Mayall's bio impressive.. . .
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Pleased to hear him on John Mayall radio,J Giles to Muddy waters thanks Pandora
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awesome
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