Sonny Boy Williamson Corn Meal Unused Bag UNIQUE
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Sold Date: 02/27/2011
Channel: Online Auction
Sonny Boy Williamson Corn Meal Unused Bag UNIQUE "King Biscuit Time" photo is for illustrative purposes and not included in this auction. D own in Helena, Arkansas in 1941, Sonny Boy Williamson and Robert Junior Lockwood had a 15 minute show on KFFA radio daily at noon. They were so popular, their sponsor, King Biscuit Flour, created a Sonny Boy brand corn meal mix which the band promoted on their radio show and on rural tours of Arkansas. This is a never-used empty bag of the cornmeal. The cornmeal continued to be produced and sold at least into the '90s, when this bag was likely printed. We managed to procure a couple of these, purchased at Cat Head Delta Blues in Clarksdale some years ago and we're told there aren't any more.
It's in superb condition, unfaded and really like new. And it comes with three recipes, "Sonny Boy Cornsticks," "Sonny Boy Waffles" and "Sonny Boy Hush Puppies."
According to the Old State House Museum in Little Rock, in 1941 Sonny Boy and Lockwood approached the new station's owner Sam Anderson and asked if they could play on the air. Anderson explained that they would need a sponsor, and sent them to Max Moore of the Interstate Grocery Company, who was looking for a program to advertise the company's exclusive brand, King Biscuit Flour. They struck a deal and the duo went on every day at noon.
T he show , "King Biscuit Time," was an instant artistic and commercial success. Sales of the flour grew rapidly which led to the creation of the Sonny Boy Corn Meal, also a big seller. The show was popular among both blacks and whites and, as its popularity rose, James "Peck" Curtis was added on drums (actually, he played a washtub until Lockwood bought him a set of drums) and Robert "Dudlow" Taylor was hired to play piano. He was later replaced by Joe Willie "Pinetop" Perkins.
The KFFA show was a sweet deal. The band would announce where it was playing that night and the crowds at their gigs grew and grew. On Saturday mornings, they would tour the rural communities around Helena, promoting the flour, corn meal and the radio program. That shot of the band above consists of Sonny Boy playing harmonica, with Houston Stackhouse on guitar and Peck Curtis on drums. (The picture is not included in the auction.)
In 1945 , Williamson moved on to the record and concert business and Lockwood went to work for another sponsor. But "King Biscuit" continued, featuring some of the greatest blues musicians in history. Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Nighthawk, Elmore James, Johnny Shines, James Cotton and scores of other blues legends have made "King Biscuit Time" the longest running radio program in history.
The "King Biscuit Flower Hour," whose name was inspired by "King Biscuit Time," was created in 1973 and was a completely different show.
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