For a strong-willed bluesman known for his rough and rowdy ways, Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller) was certainly not afraid to show vulnerability when it came to pleading with women in his songs. “You got to help me, I can’t make it by myself” was a line that struck a responsive chord among listeners – enough to put this single on the rhythm & blues charts for four weeks in 1963 – and among the many bands that have covered this classic. This was the first Sonny Boy session to feature organ backing, provided either by Lafayette Leake or Billy “The Kid” Emerson, and the resemblance to the 1962 hit “Green Onions” by Booker T. & the MG’s is undeniable.

Sonny Boy Williamson, vocal and harmonica; Lafayette Leake or Billy “The Kid” Emerson, organ; Matt Murphy, guitar; Milton Rector, bass; Al Duncan, drums. Recorded Jan. 11, 1963, Chicago. Released on Checker 1036 (45 rpm), 1963.

Discographical details from The Blues Discography 1943-1970.