Son Bonds

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Son Bonds (March 16, 1909 August 31, 1947) was an American country blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was a working associate of both Sleepy John Estes and Hammie Nixon, and was similar in his guitar playing style. According to Allmusic journalist, Jim O'Neal, 'the music to one of Bonds's songs, 'Back and Side Blues' (1934), became a standard blues melody when Sonny Boy Williamson I from nearby Jackson, Tennessee, used it in his classic 'Good Morning, School Girl'.' The best known of Bonds's other works are 'A Hard Pill To Swallow' and 'Come Back Home.'Son Bonds


Born in Brownsville, Tennessee, Bonds was also billed on record as 'Brownsville' Son Bonds, and Brother Son Bonds.

Sleepy John Estes earlier recorded work had used backing from Yank Rachell (mandolin) or Hammie Nixon (harmonica), but by the late 1930s he was accompanied in the recording studio by either Bonds or Charlie Pickett (guitar). Bonds also backed Estes at a couple of later recording sessions in 1941. In reverse, either Estes or Nixon played on every one of Bonds's own recordings. In the latter stages of his career, Bonds played kazoo as well as the guitar on several of his tracks.

According to Nixon's later accounts of the event, Bonds suffered an accidental death in August 1947. While sitting on his own front porch late one evening in Dyersburg, Tennessee, Bonds was shot to death by his short-sighted neighbor, who mistook Bonds for another man with whom his neighbor was having a protracted disagreement.

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