William Nelson "Sonny" Sanders (August 6, 1939 – October 12, 2016) was an American soul music singer, songwriter, arranger, and record producer.
Born in Chicago, Sanders made his first recording in 1955, on "Tears of Love" / "Roxanna" by Sax Kari and the Qualtones. He formed the Satintones in Detroit in 1957, with Robert Bateman, James Ellis and Sammy Mack. They became the first vocal group signed to Motown, and released their first record, "Going to the Hop" / "Motor City" in 1960. Sanders also worked as a backing singer at Motown, on such records as Marv Johnson's "You Got What It Takes" and Barrett Strong's "Money (That's What I Want)"; and as an arranger.
After the Satintones disbanded, Sanders left Motown in the early 1960s, but continued to work as an arranger on records including the Reflections "Just Like Romeo and Juliet". In 1965 he was recruited to work with record producer Carl Davis in Chicago, and arranged songs for Mary Wells, Edwin Starr's "Agent Double-O-Soul", and Jackie Wilson’s "Higher and Higher", and "I Get the Sweetest Feeling". Other artists with whom he worked, notably at Brunswick Records, included Gene Chandler, the Chi-Lites, and Tyrone Davis.
With Eugene Record of the Chi-Lites, he co-wrote Barbara Acklin's "Am I the Same Girl", the backing track of which later became "Soulful Strut" credited to Young-Holt Unlimited; and, with Wilson Pickett and former Satintones bandmate Robert Bateman, he co-wrote "If You Need Me", first recorded by Pickett and also a chart hit for Solomon Burke; it was later recorded by the Rolling Stones. Sanders also worked with Bateman's nephew, Jeffree (singer of the Steppers classic "Love's Gonna Last") on Jackie Wilson's "Beautiful Day" album. In the 1970s, he worked with Chubby and the Turnpikes, who later became Tavares; and the band Manchild, who included the musician Babyface. In 1998 Sanders and Carl Davis produced Eugene Record's last album, Let Him In. He also set up a gospel music publishing company, Joy Over One.
Sanders died in Detroit during the fall of 2016. He was 77.
Birth and Death Data: Born August 6, 1939 (Chicago), Died October 12, 2016
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1966 - 1970
Roles Represented in DAHR: arranger, leader
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 105 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Decca||117708||7/21/1966||Love grows bitter||Billy Butler||arranger|
|Decca||117709||7/20/1966||Sweet darling||Billy Butler||arranger|
|Decca||117710||7/20/1966||Help yourself||Billy Butler||arranger|
|Decca||117711||7/20/1966||If you need somebody||Billy Butler||arranger|
|Decca||117993||10/10/1966||I don't want to lose you||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||117994||10/10/1966||I can do better||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||117995||10/10/1966||Those heartaches||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||117996||10/10/1966||My heart is calling||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||117997||10/10/1966||Just be sincere||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||117998||10/10/1966||Who am I?||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||117999||10/10/1966||I've lost you||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||118000||10/10/1966||I've gotta talk to you||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||118001||10/10/1966||Only your love can save me||Jackie Wilson||arranger|
|Decca||118279||11/25/1966||Wrapped, tied and tangled||LaVern Baker||arranger, leader|
|Decca||118280||11/25/1966||Nothing like being in love||LaVern Baker||arranger, leader|
|Decca||118453||1/10/1967||What now my love||Gene Chandler||arranger|
|Decca||118454||1/10/1967||To choose||Gene Chandler||arranger|
|Decca||118455||1/10/1967||The girl don't care||Gene Chandler||arranger|
|Decca||118624||2/8/1967||Day dream-1||Louis Armstrong||arranger|
|Decca||118625||2/8/1967||Step down brother, next case||Louis Armstrong||arranger|
|Decca||118626||2/8/1967||Louis' dream||Louis Armstrong||arranger|
|Decca||118627||2/8/1967||Northern Boulevard blues||Louis Armstrong||arranger|
|Decca||118745||3/16/1967||Come on over to my side||Billy Butler||arranger|
|Decca||118746||3/16/1967||I can't wait (for your love)||Billy Butler||arranger|
|Decca||119061||June 1967||[Unknown title(s)]||Gene Chandler||arranger|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Sanders, Sonny," accessed August 8, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/209060.
Sanders, Sonny. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/209060.
"Sanders, Sonny." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 8 August 2022.
DAHR Persistent Identifier
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