General Motors announced this past week that after the end of this year they no longer will produce Pontiacs. The muscular, gas-guzzling, V-8 vehicles have long been immortalized in songs, perhaps none better than by Glendora's Sonny Boy Williamson II.
"Pontiac Blues", Recorded August 5, 1951 on Farish Street at Trumpet Records in Jackson, Mississippi, was an homage to Trumpet Records owner Lillian McMurry's new Pontiac convertible. It was a chrome laden black Silver streak, that according to author Marc W. Ryan in his book Trumpet Records "embodied all the luxury and stylish mobility that he (Sonny Boy) craved."
Ryan goes on to tell us:
He would try to wheedle a ride in the sparkling beauty, but Lillian didn't often trust the freewheeling bluesman behind the wheel. "When I used to let him drive it," she recalled, "man, he really thought he was uptown. Sonny Boy still had a pride that a lot of musicians don't have." That pride was showing when, in keeping with the prevailing vogue of using flashy automobiles as lyrical themes, he proclaimed: "Mmmm, I found out what my baby likes. That's a while lotta lovin' and a straight-eight Pontiac.
If they play only one song at Pontiac's public funeral, they could do a whole lot worse than blaring out the harmonica sounds of Sonny Boy Williamson's fitting 1951 epitaph "Pontiac Blues"