Menu
Cart 0

Sonny Terry Estate LLC

SONNY TERRY ESTATE, LLC, an Alabama corporation, and TOM HALCHAK, doing business as Blue Moon Harmonicas LLC, a Florida corporation, have established a cooperative venture to sell the harmonica collection of Saunders “Sonny” Terry, more popularly known by his performing name, “Sonny Terry”, at the time of his death on March 11, 1986.

The Managing Partner of Sonny Terry Estate, LLC is Atty. Delores R. Boyd who is Sonny Terry’s niece by marriage.  After her graduation from the University of Virginal Law School in 1975 and until his passing, Ms. Boyd assisted Sonny with respect to contracts and royalty entitlements.  Upon Sonny’s death in 1986, Ms. Boyd represented her Aunt Emma Terry ensuring the orderly transition of his business in accordance of his will, which named Emma as his sole beneficiary.  Emma Terry died on July 11, 2012 leaving all her interests in the life and music of Sonny Terry to her niece, Delores Boyd (90%) and two nephews (5% each).  

The following documents are available for your inspection which will firmly establish that Sonny Terry Estate LLC is the lawful owner of these “HARMONICA COLLECTIBLES”, as is detailed in the Affidavit of Custody and Ownership for the Hohner Harmonica Collection of Saunders “Sonny” Terry, sworn on October 26, 2015, by Atty. Delores R. Boyd, in her capacity as Managing Partner of Sonny Terry Estate, LLC.  (Each of the bold underlined bullet points below is a clickable hyperlink). 

 Our cooperative venture will be guided by three primary objectives:

  1. To honor, enhance and preserve the distinguished career of Sonny Terry.
  2. To offer those who have helped preserve and promote Sonny’s music an opportunity to “own a piece of history”.
  3. To generate revenue for Sonny Terry Estate LLC.

Sonny’s collection includes a wide variety of harmonicas, most of which are Hohner Harmonicas plus some Huang Silver Stars.  The majority of the Hohners are Marine Band 1896s and Golden Melodys but the collection also includes several other Hohner models as listed below.

  • Special 20
  • Blues Harp
  • Pro Harp
  • Orchester II - Vereins-Harmonika
  • Echo-Luxe Super Vamper
  • Echo Vamper
  • Echo Super Vamper
  • Echo Tremelo
  • Vest Pocket
  • Chromonica 260
  • Auto-Valve
  • Navy Band

Not all of Sonny’s collection will be made available for purchase.  Many of them have already been gifted to family and friends and others are earmarked for donation to various museums such as The Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis, TN and the Harmonika Museum in Trossingen, Germany, home of Hohner Harmonicas.  

Harmonicas will be offered individually in attractive framed shadowbox cases suitable for hanging on a wall or display on a desk or bookshelf.  We will provide pictures of each harmonica along with an accurate description of the physical condition and playability.  Last year, Sonny Terry Estate LLC retained the services of noted Blues Harmonica Player, Blues Historian and Owner of ModernBluesHarmonica.com, Mr. Adam Gussow to evaluate a parcel of the collection and where available, Mr. Gussow’s assessment will be included in the description.  Each buyer will receive a Certificate of Authenticity from Sonny Terry Estate LLC.  

So how do you determine the fair market value of a harmonica that was owned and played by one of the greatest harmonica players of all time?  The condition and playability of each harmonica are factors that must be considered.  Under ordinary circumstances, harmonicas that are in better condition (new vs. used) and that play better (no broken reeds vs. broken reed or in tune vs. out of tune) are worth more than those that are less so.  However, in the case of Sonny’s harps, obvious signs of wear indicate that this was a harmonica that he played extensively.  Which of these factors makes a collectable harmonica more or less valuable is subject to debate and a matter of opinion.  Regardless, clearly these are one of a kind items.  There was only one Sonny Terry.  There are a limited number of harmonicas in the collection and not all of them will be offered for sale.  Once they’re gone, they’re gone. 

This is a historic opportunity for both Sonny Terry Estate LLC and Sonny’s fans.  Our goal is to conduct business professionally and with complete integrity.  We have made an abundance of information available which establishes the authenticity of the collection and the legitimacy of ownership by Sonny Terry Estate LLC.  We will provide photographs and accurate descriptions of each harmonica being offered.  The harmonicas will be presented in an attractive shadow box display case. In addition, while supplies last, we will also include a framed 8” X 10” stock photograph of Sonny.  These publicity photos were likely provided to Sonny by Hohner and are the type that he might have autographed for fans at his appearances.  Every effort will be made to elevate the status of Sonny’s collection and to create quality investment opportunities that will increase in value as time marches on.

Thank you for your interest.
Tom Halchak
Authorized Agent of Sonny Terry Estate LLC
Blue Moon Harmonicas LLC
info@BlueMoonHarmonicas.com


Adam Gussow's Appraisal

In September, 2015, Delores sent 150 of Sonny's harmonicas to Adam Gussow for appraisal.  Over the course of several days, Adam inspected and played each harmonica and provided his expert opinion.  Here is a brief video he filmed during that process.


Sonny Terry Tribute at SPAH 2016

At the most recent SPAH Convention in San Antonio, TX, we organized a Sonny Terry Tribute.  The stars aligned to have some incredibly talented disciples of Sonny’s music in the place at the same time as some of Sonny’s harmonicas.  And the entire event was captured on video.  Below you can watch Joe Filisko, Grant Dermody and Peter Madcat Ruth play Sonny’s music on Sonny’s actual harmonicas.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  It was a moving performance.  If you are pressed for time and can’t watch the entire 60 minutes, if nothing else, fast forward to the end of the video and listen to Delores’ closing remarks.  I won’t spoil it.  They are moving.  


Gifting an Estate Harmonica to Tom Ball
In July, I had the pleasure of visiting Tom Ball in Santa Barbara, California.  Tom is a longtime devotee of Sonny Terry and in fact, one the books he has authored is entitled The Sourcebook of Sonny Terry Licks for Harmonica.  

In Toms's own words, "Ever since I was a kid my harmonica hero has been the late Sonny Terry. I saw him play many times, starting back in high school by seeing Brownie and Sonny in many venues and in several countries. He has always been my biggest influence and my harmonica mentor. Twenty years ago I wrote a book about him and his style. We even share the same birthday - October 24."

In keeping with our goal to express our gratitude to the artists who have worked to help keep Sonny’s music alive, we felt it was fitting to gift Tom one of Sonny’s harmonicas.  He was touched by the gesture. 

Steve Baker

Steve Baker has been a great friend and tremendous resource for Blue Moon Harmonicas for many years.  Recently he helped us connect Sonny Terry Estate LLC with the Harmonika Museum in Trossingen Germany.  The museum is now planning a major Sonny Terry Exhibit at the World Harmonica Festival in Novermber 2017.  

As a token of our appreciation, the estate has gifted a Honhner Echo Super Vamper to Steve.  Thank you Steve.

"This is an original Hohner Echo Super Vamper harmonica from the estate of the late great Sonny Terry. Sonny was a major influence on me when I started playing and I'm very happy to have facilitated a connection between his estate and the German Harmonica Museum in Trossingen with a view to creating a permanent exhibit there to commemorate Sonny and his music. "

Ben Hewlett and the National Harmonica League Festival 2016

Ben Hewlett is a log time Sonny Terry devotee.  He is a full time musician and owner of HarpsCool.com, where he offers instruction on how to play in the Sonny Terry style. Ben is also Chairman of The National Harmonica League in the UK.  The 2016 NHL Annual Festival was recently held in October.  Sonny Terry Estate LLC donated an estate harmonica to the NHL for its fundraising auction and also gifted an estate harp to Ben in dedication to keeping Sonny's music alive.  

Thank you Ben.

 


Shipping Cost and Taxes

Select Shipping Options

Zipcode entered is not valid

Subtotal : -
Estimated Shipping Cost : -
Estimated Taxes : -
Estimated Order Total : -

Put Shipping and Tax Calculator After or Before This Element

x
After Selected Element
Before Selected Element

Calculator cannot be displayed near the selected current element. Please select another element!