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Sonny Hines

Middletown, mid 1950s-1970s

Sonny Hines spent many years as the featured singer for Tommy Wills' band. According to a 1950s era newspaper bit, he was from Pittsburgh, but got some jobs in the greater Cincinnati area, and ended up living in Middletown when he was not travelling. 

Digging into old newspapers, he was listed as playing Lima in 1953, and 1955 (co billed with Juanita Watson).

He made his first recording for Esta in 1958. He later recorded a few 45s - not 14! for Decca, with some minor success. The Decca sides were well produced pop-R&B.

In 1961 he was in a group called the Sultans, which don't appear to be related to any recording groups with that name (there was an unrelated Sultans from Kentucky, among others)

His time with Tommy Wills started around 1957 and lasted into the 1970s. This was definitely an off and on relationship as we can see by Sonny's work with other groups.

From 1966 until 1972 he was the front man for the band Gooch, or La Gooch, who played the SW Ohio club scene. He must have been splitting time between Wills and this band. The group was listed as the Gooch Trio in 1966.

There was a 1948 listing for Sonny Hines playing in Akron. Seems like it's the same guy, but he must have been pretty young.