Eugene Powell...???

Arthur Schuna aaschuna@FACSTAFF.WISC.EDU
Sun Jul 6 11:50:40 EDT 1997

In article <>,
>Can anyone tell me something about Eugene Powell?

Eugene Powell recorded 6 titles using the name Sonny Boy
Nelson in 1936 for the Bluebird label.  He also backed
Mississippi Matilda, his wife on 3 tracks and Robert Hill on
10 tracks all available on a Wolf CD "Louisiana Blues:Sonny Boy
Nelson with Mississippi Matilda & Robert Hill (WSE109).  About
60 years later, I saw Eugene Powell perform on the Front Porch
Stage at the Chicago Blues Festival.  He had to have help getting
to and from his chair but he could still play pretty well
for a man approaching 90.  His later recordings are also documented
on Wolf.  I have a CD titled Jack Owens & Eugene Powell:The Last
Giants of Mississippi Blues (Wolf 120.931) which is a very nice
set of recordings done in 1981-91.

The liner notes indicate he was born in 1908 in Utica Miss.  He
took the name Sonny boy Nelson from his stepfather.  He farmed,
bootlegged and ran a roadhouse.  He played the blues with people
such as Bo Carter, Sam Chatmon and Walter Vinson.  Bo Carter arranged
the recording session he did in 1936.  The liner notes indicate
he was recorded by Gene Rosenthal and Steve LaVere for the Adelphi
label in 1970 and 72.  Any chance we might see these recordings
eventually released?

Art Schuna

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