Saturday, April 14, 2007
Little Sonny Warner Remembered
Haywood 'Little Sonny' Warner passed on Thursday, April 12, 2007. The Falls Church native was one of the finest blues singers in the DC area. As part of a vocal group he first recorded for Atlantic as a teenager and then served as the valet for Lloyd Price for a period. One night at Evans Grille in Forestville MD, he jumped on stage when Big Jay McNeely was performing. McNeely asked Sonny to join him and a few months later he flew out to the West Coast to be part of McNeely's show, scoring with his Ray Charles influenced vocals. The big moment was Sonny's vocal on the classic There is Something on Your Mind. The record went gold. After a couple more years Sonny left Big jay and returned to the Washington DC area recording a handful of singles but one of the top acts on the local R&B circuit. His performances at the DC Blues Festival, Lamont's or the July 2003 Falls Church Parks show, from which these photos were taken, were always memorable. If there is ever a DC Blues Hall of Fame, he will be one of the charter members.
For more images from the July 2003 show check Sonny Warner-July 2003
For some images scanned from prints of the August 1997 show with Big Jay check Big Jay & Little Sonny
I thank Eric LeBlanc for forwarding the Washington Post's death notice which enabled me to correct the date from the 13th. Catherine, Sonny's widow, called me Saturday morning and that's where I found out about him passing.