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Minnesota soul man Sonny Knight cancels tour to fight cancer

When Sonny Knight and the Lakers canceled a January show in Brainerd it was actually some foreshadowing of what this spring will be like.

The Minnesotan who successfully revived his career as a soul singer in his 60s revealed this week that he has cancer and is canceling all of his tour dates in April and May.

The statement on his website says the Brainerd show was canceled so that doctors could take a biopsy of a nodule they found on Knight’s lung. It turned out to be cancerous and the cancer has spread to his rib cage and shoulder.

The statement says Knight will undergo chemotherapy. While the April and May shows are canceled, he plans to resume touring in June.

Don’t know Sonny Knight?

Knight was born in Mississippi but moved to St. Paul as a child.

As this bio relates, his first record came out in 1965 when “Little Sonny Knight and the Cymbals” put out a song on the New Teenage label. Appropriate, since Sonny was all of 17 years old.

Before long, though, Knight moved on to other endeavors – serving in Vietnam and later becoming a long-haul truck driver.

His musical career was revived in 2014 when he and the Lakers released the album I’m Still Here on Secret Stash records.  That was followed by a live album, then late last year the follow-up Sooner or Later came out. (Secret Stash has also released it on cassette.)

Here’s a taste of his music:

Knight had this to say about his cancer diagnosis and canceled tour dates:

“The last four years of being a part of the lakers have been the best years of my life.  It’s incredible all the people that have come out and given us so much love and support.  I’m canceling my shows because I want to give them the best that I’ve got, and right now the chemo won’t let me do that. After my treatment, I’ll be back to give that love back to the people.   Just know I’m not done. We gotta keep on moving. That’s all I want to do is keep on moving.”


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