Meet the Singer: Sonny Webb

By Bill Harry  

December 13 1963

Sonny WebbTwenty-two-years old Sonny Webb (real name Ken Johnson) started singing during the skiffle craze at the age of 16.

“I really loved the country music singers,” he says. “I eat, drink and sleep country music – the proper stuff, not what you hear now.”

Singers such as George Jones, Hank Williams, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs and Webb Pierce were his favourites.

“I tried playing Spanish guitar, but I just wasn’t good enough, so I started singing. Together with a group of young lads I played in pubs and youth clubs for six months – we didn’t have a name for the group during that time.

“When the skiffle craze died down, I formed a CW group called the Country Four and played mostly at the Black Cat Club and in working men’s clubs. I think Clubland people appreciate country music more than the younger set.”

After three and a half years with the Country Four – the group split up (later to re-form with Brian Newman) – Sonny then joined the Wild Cats.

Now the group is called Sonny Webb & the Cascades.

“I love entertaining people,” says Sonny. “Particularly at the Black Cat Club and the Iron Door, where we appear most regularly. I hope, some day, to turn professional.”

The group have written their own country-flavoured and pop material and have a more varied repertoire. Lead guitarist John State was formerly with the Connaughts, drummer Roger Wilcox was with the Gerry Owen Four, and bass guitarist Joe Butler has been with the group from the start.

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