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SONNY TAYLOR, Deceased in 2000

Updated March 29, 2000
  • NEW RELEASE: Sonny Taylor & the EBO Band (Every Body's Original) All originals - covers. For information on the cassettes ($10 each), CDs ($15)
    and BOOKING, contact:
    Wolf River Productions
    80 South Main St.
    Saulsburry, TN

  • Birthname: Bernard Blake Taylor
  • Nickname: "Sonny"
  • Birthdate: 2/23/54
  • Place of Birth: Flint, Michigan
  • Parents: Orville and Willodean Taylor
  • Martial Status: Married 24 years to Pamela Kay Zircle
  • Children: Two, Richard and Heather
  • Grandchildren: Ethan, Walker, Kayla, Diamond, Madison and one on the way (December 1999 boy)
  • Trade Marks: Black hat and sunglasses
  • Hobbies: Music, writing new songs, spending time with family and friends, drawing, creating and designing jewelry and T-shirts.

  • Sonny was three years old when he first started in music. "I can't remember a time in my life I didn't have a guitar in my hands or within my reach, stated Sonny." In 1964 Sonny and family moved from Florence, Alabama to Memphis, Tenn. "Right off I knew Memphis was the place for me." Sonny attended SouthPark Elementary on Getwell Road. There he met and became friends with one of his heroes Charlie Feathers, and Charlies' children Bubba and Wanda. Bubby and Sonny became close friends from 1964 through 1966 when his family moved to Whitehaven.

    While still living in East Memphis, Sonny got the chance to meet many of his heroes: Eddie Bond, Narvel Felts, Ace Cannon and Charlie Feathers. "Charlie once told me 'learn from your teachers son, build on it, make the music your own - don't become a carbon copy of anyone, be different.'" Sonny became a boy scout in 1964-1966. Helping others is easy, being selfish is hard for me because with friends like Eddie Bond, Charlie Feathers, Narvel Felts and Burl Boykin you can't be any other way except to help others and be yourself," stated Sonny.

    In 1970 Sonny played and sang with stage and club bands from all over Memphis to Texas and back. "When I go on stage I have big tracks to follow - they taught me to give my very best and be myself. Eddie Bond has been my mentor and friend for over 30 years. It is a blessing from God to still have friends that you started out with," said Sonny.

    While still in Fairley High School, a close friend of Sonny's Philip Smith (former base player) said "Sonny could bring his guitar to school, get up on a table in the lunch room and keep a crowd spellbound. Playing music with Sonny comes natural always thinking of those who gave him a chance. Sonny hasn't changed, he just keeps getting better."

    Buck Carden has been a friend to Sonny for over 30 years. He gave him his first job at Lendon Circle Theater when he was 14 years old. Buck has played lead guitar for Sonny many of those 30 years. Jimmy Swindle has also been a big help to Sonny as well as a good friend". I would like to thank both of them for being a good friend, "Thanks guys!!!!" stated Sonny.

    In 1980 Sonny moved to Iuka, Mississippi to raise his family, although moving to a new state, Sonny continued his music. He formed a Gospel group with his family (wife, kids, mother and brothers). His son Rickey formed his own group Minimum Wage Band. Sonny's musical talents comes from a long line of history on both sides of the family.

    When Sonny brings out his 1965 Fender Jazz master (original) it is time for business," I give 100% on stage and off I'll sign autographs all night if that is what the fans want." Sonny has his own show on Thursday with his own band The E.B.O. (fan mail letters can be sent to Write to Sonny and let him know what you think.

    Still in music, Sonny writes songs, plays live at Eddie Bond Country Club Hwy. 57, Big Hill Pond, Tenn. Every Thursday and Saturday on Eddie's show, Channel 13 Memphis and channel 7 Jackson, Tenn.

    Sonny became a lifetime member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame on July 21, 1999. Sonny stated "I could never have done it without the help of these friends and mentors. THANKS! When Burl and Narvel handed me that plaque, I was floored, totally speechless with tears in my eyes. Never have I had such an honor, again I say THANKS! Sonny is an original, just like his 1965 Fender Jazz.

    When on stage or off he is Sonny Taylor and when he snaps his guitar case shut and goes home he is Pa-Paw. What could be better than that, Sonny?

    Samples of Sonny's Artistic Talents