Snooky Pryor was a true pioneer of the postwar harmonica blues sound. Born in Lambert, Mississippi on September 15, 1921, James Edward Pryor took up the harp at the age of 14 despite the objections of his minister father, copping licks from old Sonny Boy Williamson 78's.
Stationed with the army outside Chicago in 1940, Snooky jammed on weekends with the likes of Sonny Boy and Homesick James and played on the Maxwell Street scene. 1945 saw his musical career begin in earnest. In 1948, he made his recording debut with Telephone Blues on the tiny Planet label, now considered one of the earliest postwar Chicago blues classics. He recorded intermittently throughout the '50s for J.O.B., Parrot, and VeeJay, and with his natural, swinging harp sound, was also highly in demand as a session musician, playing on sides with Sunnyland Slim, Floyd Jones, Homesick James, and others of the Maxwell Street School. His other now venerated recordings include Someone To Love Me, Snooky and Moody's Boogie, and Judgment Day.