This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. (March 2010) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Born||October 2, 1946|
|Origin||Rayne, Louisiana, United States|
|Instruments||Vocals, Cajun accordion, Guitar, Harmonica|
|Labels||Goldband, Mercury, Rounder, RCA, Capitol, Liberty|
Jo-El Sonnier (; 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 30 albums, primarily on independent labels.
Sonnier was born to French-speaking sharecroppers in Rayne, Louisiana. At age three, he began to play his brother's accordion. By age six, Sonnier had performed on the radio; at age 11, he made his first recordings. He also released several independent singles and four albums as a teenager. 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. Although his independent album did not produce much commercial success, it was nominated for a Grammy Award. 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 10 on the country charts.
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. 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.
In 2009, Sonnier was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
On February 8, 2015, Sonnier won a Grammy Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album.
December 10, 2013, saw the release of The Legacy (Takau Records) and was the first traditional Cajun French album of his in over 13 years. Ten years of songwriting in the making, the 13-track album drew Jo-El his fifth Grammy nomination and won him his first, as the 2015 Regional Roots Music Album of the Year.
|1968||The Scene Today in Cajun Music||--|
|1969||The Cajun Valentino||--|
|1987||Come On Joe||17||RCA|
|1989||Right Next Door to Texas||--||Goldband|
|The Cajun Troubadour||--|
|1990||Have a Little Faith||45||RCA|
|1991||Tears of Joy||--||Capitol|
|1992||Hello Happiness Again||--||Liberty|
|Complete Mercury Session||--||Mercury|
|1995||Cajun Kids||--||Little Morganville|
|1996||Live in Canada||--||Stony Plain|
|Cookin' Cajun (with Eddy Raven)||--||K-Tel|
|1997||Cajun Young Blood||--||Ace|
|1998||Here to Stay||--||Intersound|
|Cajun Memories||--||Green Hill|
|1999||Cajun Blood||--||Musique de' Jo-El|
|2000||Cajun Tradition||--||Green Hill|
|2001||The L.A. Sessions||--||Musique de' Jo-El|
|2004||Yesterdays with Jo-El Sonnier||--||Green Hill|
|Cajun Mardis Gras||--|
|2005||Back by Request||--||Musique de' Jo-El|
|2013||The Legacy||--||Takau Records|
|"--" denotes releases that did not chart|
|US Country||CAN Country|
|1975||"I've Been Around Enough to Know"||78||--||N/A|
|1976||"Always Late (With Your Kisses)"||99||--|
|"He's Still All Over You"||100||--|
|1987||"Come On Joe"||39||--||Come On Joe|
|1988||"No More One More Time"||7||2|
|1989||"Rainin' in My Heart"||35||*|
|"(Blue, Blue, Blue) Blue, Blue"||47||50||Have a Little Faith|
|1990||"If Your Heart Should Ever Roll This Way Again"||24||26|
|"The Scene of the Crime"||65||46|
|1991||"You May Change Your Mind"||--||--||Tears of Joy|
|1998||"Broken Hearted Side of New Orleans"||--||--||Here to Stay|
|"--" denotes releases that did not chart|
* denotes unknown peak positions
|1988||"Tear-Stained Letter"||S. A. Baron|
|"Rainin' in My Heart"||Steve Boyle|
|1989||"(Blue, Blue, Blue) Blue, Blue"||Jim May|
|"If Your Heart Should Ever Roll This Way Again"|
|1990||"The Scene of the Crime"|
|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 [sic]|