Watch the Sonny Boy II Approach online guitar lesson by Annie Raines from Blues Harmonica Blueprint

Aleck "Rice" Miller was known for most of his professional life as Sonny Boy Williamson, a moniker that he allegedly stole from harmonica star John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. The problem was, John Lee was still using the name when Rice Miller appropriated it. John Lee conveniently died in 1948, and Miller became the better known Sonny Boy after a long recording career at Chess Records and several European tours that included stints with Eric Clapton and the Animals. "Sonny Boy II" was the Eli Whitney of the blues harp - an innovator who used 2- and 3-note combinations as interchangeable parts, streamlining a rural homegrown sound into a slick commercial product.