Juke Boy Bonner

Coming out of Bellville, Texas, Weldon “Juke Boy” Bonner recorded some tough raw blues accompanying himself on guitar and harmonica. Bonner was schooled in the sounds of Lightnin' Hopkins and Jimmy Reedn and played a rack harp and often performed as a one-man band adding cymbals and/or drums to his act.

Like many rural blues singers, Bonner’s first musical experiences were in singing spirituals as a child. He took up the guitar when he was about 13 years old and began to build up his experience following a move to Houston a few years later where he won a talent contest that led to a radio gig and local exposure. He journeyed to Oakland in 1956, cutting his debut single for producer Bob Geddin’s Irma label (as Juke Boy Barner) before signing on to Goldband Records in 1960, where he was billed as the One Man Trio.

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