is a nonprofit organization 501 (c) (3) founded in May, 1986 in Helena, Arkansas by a diverse group of 15 individuals whose common link was a love of blues with emphasis on delta style blues. In less than 10 years the Sonny Boy Blues Society (SBBS) has grown to a membership of over 400 spanning 30 states and 5 foreign countries.
The name Sonny Boy of this organization comes from Sonny Boy Williamson a delta bluesman whose influence was felt throughout the blues world and even into the mainstream rock and roll world. He was the cornerstone of the live radio broadcast "King Biscuit Time" broadcast from KFFA radio in Helena, Arkansas. This show is one of the longest running live broadcasts in the country and is a recipient of the prestigious Peabody Award.
Sonny Boy's music & style influenced many current musicians not only bluesmen, but other musicians as well. During the early 1960's at the start of the British invasion of rock groups. His songs and harmonica playing influenced and inspired many English bands like the Yardbirds with Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones and Eric Burton and the Animals. Sonny Boy spent time in England and Europe in the sixties recording with those groups.
In 2001 Main Street Helena contracted the Sonny Boy Blues Society to become the producer of the King Biscuit Blues Festival which is the delta's premier free festivals held in October each year.
Blues-In-Schools is another project the SBBS is active in. Blues-In-Schools is a nationwide effort to expose and teach blues to our youth. Not only is the music taught but also the history of the music and its rich heritage. Nationally known blues legends such as Billy Branch and Fruteland Jackson participated along with local and regional musicians.
In 1996 the Sonny Boy Blues Society embarked on a project called BluesAid©. The goal of BluesAid is to provide financial assistance to many of the aging blues artists who cannot afford healthcare.
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