Sonny Forriest

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Elbert McKinley "Sonny" Forriest (May 21, 1934 – January 10, 1999) was an American guitar player. He is best known for playing guitar for The Coasters.

Biography[edit]

Forriest was born in Pendleton, North Carolina in 1934. During the Korean War, Forriest served in the United States Air Force. From 1959 through 1961, he played guitar with The Coasters on such recordings as "Besame Mucho," "Wake Me, Shake Me," "Shoppin' For Clothes," "Thumbin' A Ride," "Girls Girls Girls," "Ridin' Hood," and "Lady Like." He joined the Ray Charles Orchestra in 1962[1] . Forriest recorded four songs for Verve Records. On September 30, 1963, he recorded "In Trouble" (unreleased) and "Now That I'm Lonely." On October 1, 1963, he recorded "I'm Travelin'" and "Wedding Day" (unreleased). He released a solo jazz album called "Tuff Pickin': The Blue Guitar Of Sonny Forriest And His Orchestra" on Decca Records in 1965. He has also done studio work for other artists including Ray Charles and Hank Crawford. He died on January 10, 1999, in Capitol Heights, Maryland, United States.

His son Sonny Forriest Jr. is a musician out of New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who has played with groups such as Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, The Philly Intruders, and The Hearts Of Stone.

Discography[edit]

Solo singles[edit]

  • Madame Booty Grenn / Mama Keep My Wife at Home: Recorded in November 1959, Red Top Records (128)
  • Diddy Bop / Knockdown: Recorded in November 1959, Atco Records (6157) (as "Sonny Forrest")
  • Sonny's Groove / Madame Booty Green: Recorded in November 1959, Atco Records (6157) - Unissued
  • In Trouble: Recorded in September 1963, Verve Records - Unissued
  • Now that I'm Lonely / I'm Traveling: Recorded in Sept./Oct. 1963, Verve Records
  • Wedding Day: Recorded in October 1963, Verve Records - Unissued
  • Don't Mess With My Woman / Train: Recorded in May 1964 (possibly), Escort Records (106)
  • Lil' Sister / It's Very Clear: Recorded in May 1964 (possibly), Escort Records - Unissued
  • I Got A Woman/Tuff Pickin' (Decca #31888) (1965)

Solo albums[edit]

  • Tuff Pickin': The Blue Guitar Of Sonny Forriest & His Orchestra (Decca #DL-4716) (1965)
  • Mashin' It : Recorded in April 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • Miss Dee McC Recorded in April 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • Minor Blast: Recorded in April 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • Tuff Pickin': Recorded in May 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • My Soul is Happy: Recorded in May 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • Goodbye Charlie: Recorded in May 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • Unchain my Heart: Recorded in May 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • Bitter with the Sweet: Recorded in May 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • Stepping: Recorded in May 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • What's this Thing Called Love: Recorded in May 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)
  • I Got a Woman: Recorded in May 1965, Decca Records (LP 4716)

As sideman[edit]

With The Coasters

  • One By One (Atco, 1960)

With Hank Crawford

References[edit]

  1. ^ Millar, Bill (1974). The Coasters. London, England: Star Books. p. 179. ISBN 0352300205. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Blues Records, Mike Leadbitter & Neil Slaven, Record Information Services, 1987 - ISBN 978-0907872078

External links[edit]