Sonny Rhodes - Honoring Black History
Clarence Smith, known as Sonny Rhodes, is an American blues singer and lap steel guitar player. He has recorded over two hundred songs. "I'm what you call a self-proclaimed Disciple of the Blues!" said Rhodes about his years playing and singing for fans of blues around the world.
He received his first guitar at the age of eight as a Christmas present and became serious about playing the blues at age 12. He credits his uncle as his source of inspiration. Rhodes began performing around Smithville and nearby Austin in the late 1950s, while still in his teens.
After a stint in the Navy, he returned to California and soon signed a contract with Galaxy Records. He recorded a single, "I Don't Love You No More", in 1966 and another single for Galaxy in 1967, changing his stage name from Clarence Smith to Sonny Rhodes at that time. Frustrated with the San Francisco Bay area record companies, he recorded "Cigarette Blues" on his own label, Rhodes-Way Records, in 1978. Since then he has released many blues albums and toured widely in the US, Canada and Europe. His most recent record, The Essential Sonny Rhodes – Songs & Stories, on Need To Know Music is a retrospective of his career to date.