Jo-El Sonnier

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Jo-El Sonnier
Joelsonnier.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJoel Sonnier
Born(1946-10-02) October 2, 1946 (age 67)
OriginRayne, Louisiana, USA
GenresCountry, Cajun
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, accordionist
InstrumentsVocals, Cajun accordion, Guitar, Harmonica
Years active1967–present
LabelsGoldband, Mercury, Rounder, RCA, Capitol, Liberty
Associated actsEddy Raven
Websitehttp://www.jo-elsonnier.com/
 
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Jo-El Sonnier
Joelsonnier.jpg
Background information
Birth nameJoel Sonnier
Born(1946-10-02) October 2, 1946 (age 67)
OriginRayne, Louisiana, USA
GenresCountry, Cajun
OccupationsSinger-songwriter, accordionist
InstrumentsVocals, Cajun accordion, Guitar, Harmonica
Years active1967–present
LabelsGoldband, Mercury, Rounder, RCA, Capitol, Liberty
Associated actsEddy Raven
Websitehttp://www.jo-elsonnier.com/

Jo-El Sonnier (/ʒˌɛl sɒnˈj/; born October 2, 1946, in Rayne, Louisiana) is an American singer-songwriter and accordionist who performs country music and Cajun music. Originally signed to Mercury Nashville Records, Sonnier charted several minor singles on the Billboard country charts in the late 1970s. By the late 1980s, he had signed to RCA Records, breaking through with the Top Ten hits "No More One More Time" and a cover of Richard Thompson's "Tear Stained Letter". Although his chart success waned by the late 1980s, he has continued recording music. He has recorded more than thirty albums, primarily on independent labels.

Biography[edit]

Sonnier was born to French-speaking sharecroppers in Rayne, Louisiana.[1] At age three, he began to play his brother's accordion. By age six, Sonnier had performed on the radio; at age eleven, he made his first recordings.[2] He also released several independent singles and four albums as a teenager.[2] By the 1970s, he was signed to Mercury Nashville Records, but without much success in the country music field.

Sonnier temporarily abandoned his pursuit of a country music career in favor of recording Cajun music on the independent Rounder Records label.[1] Although his independent album did not produce much commercial success, it was nominated for a Grammy Award.[2] After being signed as Merle Haggard's opening act, Sonnier later decided to return to country music; he was signed to RCA Records in the 1980s, where his biggest successes came in the singles "No More One More Time" and a cover of British singer Richard Thompson's "Tear Stained Letter", songs which landed in the Top Ten on the country charts.[2]

In the 1990s, Sonnier moved to Capitol Records, but his solo career faltered soon afterwards. He continued to find success as a session musician, and briefly took up acting as well.[2] In the late 1990s, he returned to Rounder Records to record Cajun music once more, occasionally collaborating with Michael Doucet of BeauSoleil. Sonnier also saw his second Grammy nomination, for the 1997 album Cajun Pride; a third soon followed with 2001's Cajun Blood being nominated for Best Traditional Folk Album.[2]

In 2009, he was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US Country
1967Hurricane AudryGoldband
1968The Scene Today in Cajun Music
1969The Cajun Valentino
1980Cajun LifeRounder
1987Come On Joe17RCA
1989Right Next Door to TexasGoldband
The Cajun Troubadour
1990Have a Little Faith45RCA
1991Tears of JoyCapitol
1992Hello Happiness AgainLiberty
Complete Mercury SessionMercury
1994Cajun RootsRounder
1995Cajun KidsLittle Morganville
1996Live in CanadaStony Plain
Cookin' Cajun (with Eddy Raven)K-Tel
1997Cajun Young BloodAce
Cajun PrideRounder
1998Here to StayIntersound
Cajun MemoriesGreen Hill
1999Cajun BloodMusique de' Jo-El
2000Cajun TraditionGreen Hill
2001The L.A. SessionsMusique de' Jo-El
2004Yesterdays with Jo-El SonnierGreen Hill
Cajun Christmas
Cajun Hymns
Cajun Mardis Gras
2005Back by RequestMusique de' Jo-El
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Singles[edit]

YearSinglePeak chart
positions
Album
US CountryCAN Country
1975"I've Been Around Enough to Know"78Singles only
1976"Always Late (With Your Kisses)"99
"He's Still All Over You"100
1987"Come On Joe"39Come On Joe
1988"No More One More Time"72
"Tear-Stained Letter"96
1989"Rainin' in My Heart"35*Singles only
"(Blue, Blue, Blue) Blue, Blue"4750
1990"If Your Heart Should Ever Roll This Way Again"2426Have a Little Faith
"The Scene of the Crime"6546
1998"Broken Hearted Side of New Orleans"Here to Stay
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
* denotes unknown peak positions

Guest singles[edit]

YearSingleArtistAlbum
1998"Catahoula"The Bellamy Brothers (with Eddy Raven)Over the Line

Music videos[edit]

YearVideoDirector
1988"Tear-Stained Letter"
1996"Fais Do Do" (with Eddy Raven)Bob Whitt
1997"Sugar Bee" (with Eddy Raven)
1998"Catahoula" (with The Bellamy Brothers and Eddy Raven)chris rogers

References[edit]

External links[edit]