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Hard Goin' Up

Little Sonny

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Album Review

Because he hasn't promoted himself aggressively enough, Little Sonny isn't nearly as well known in either blues or R&B circles as he should be. But make no mistake, Sonny is a first-class electric bluesman who's also a pearl of a soul singer. And he excels in both areas on Hard Goin' Up, which Fantasy reissued on CD in the U.S. in 1997. "You Made Me Strong," "It's Hard Going Up (But Twice as Hard Coming Down)" and "You Can Be Replaced" illustrate his mastery of the 12-bar form, while "You're Spreading Yourself a Little Too Thin" and "Do It Right Now" are invigorating examples of the type of horn-driven, sock-it-to-'em soul music Sonny embraced with such conviction. The punchy "My Woman Is Good to Me" was a minor hit, and Hard made it to #42 on Billboard's R&B albums chart. It's possible that had it not been for the problems Stax was having with CBS at the time, the album would have enjoyed a lot more exposure. At any rate, Hard Goin' Up is one of Sonny's finest accomplishments.


Born: October 06, 1932 in Greensboro, AL

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '90s

The Stax empire wasn't exactly renowned for its legion of blues harpists, but Little Sonny found the Memphis firm quite an agreeable home during the early '70s (he even appeared in the label's...
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Hard Goin' Up, Little Sonny
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