John William "S onny " Payne was born John William Payne in Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas, on November 29, 1925. Payne joined the US Army and served in the Seventy-fifth Signal Battalion .

After his military service, he worked as a touring musician. However, " Sunshine " Sonny Payne is best known for his long-running blues radio show, King Biscuit Time , which he began hosting in 1951 at Helena radio station KFFA .

A Blues Hall of Fame inductee, he has earned numerous awards, including a Peabody Award, the Pioneer Award from the Arkansas Broadcaster's Associati on, and the Keeping Blues Alive Award from the Blues Foundation.

Payne passed away on February 9, 2018.

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