Cover photo for Ellison "Sonny" H. Threatt Jr's Obituary
Ellison "Sonny" H. Threatt Jr Profile Photo
1948 Ellison 2023

Ellison "Sonny" H. Threatt Jr

September 9, 1948 — June 3, 2023


Ellison H. Threatt Jr “Sonny” died peacefully at his home with his loving wife and children after a very short illness on June 3, 2023. Sonny was 74 years old.

Sonny was an accomplished singer, songwriter, producer, arranger, and musician producing many records of the late ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s until the present date. One of the many records he and his wife, Phyllis Brown released on the Universal Record label was a song called “I’ve Been Lost” and “If I Had to Do It All Over” under the moniker “Sunny and Phyllis”. The two of them recorded locally at Mark Five Studios where many more records were to follow, which can be viewed online under “Sunny and Phyllis” and also independently as Sunny Threatt and Phyllis Brown. Some of Sonny’s more recent music can be viewed on Broadjam- under Sonny Threatt.

Sonny started his musical career in high school where he played in “Sonny Soul and The Swinging Tangents” and then with “Sonny, Phyllis and The Danes”. They won numerous contests such as “The Battle of the Bands” and others which launched his career into making records under “Sunny and Phyllis”.

Some of his favorite influences ranged from nearly every genre of music and included James Brown, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendergrass, Earth Wind and Fire, The Allman Brothers, Steely Dan, The Eagles, Roberta Flack, Anita Baker, Burt Bacharach, Marvin Gaye, Sergio Mendez, Brasil 66, Antonio Carlos Jobin, Rosa Passos, Hank Williams, Doc Watson, Senior and contemporary artists such as Pablo Nutiy, and the late Amy Winehouse. His unique bosa nova style of guitar picking was distinct and songwriting compared to Carol King and James Taylor.

In 1968 Sonny and Phyllis married and later had two wonderful and lovely girls who were the loves of his life. After marriage and children, Sonny transitioned to writing and singing local jingles and advertisements such as the opening sign-on song for “ The Bob Hooper Radio Show” called "Hooper in the Morning" on WESC which played for many years. One that he was particularly proud of writing and singing with his wife Phyllis was the song “Put Your Heart in The Arts” produced for the South Carolina Metropolitan Art Council. This song won the prestigious “ Best of Show” award at the “Addy’s” and was performed for and honored by then governor Dick Riley – many more jingles were to follow such as “ Music To Bank By” which was produced for the First Piedmont Bank and Trust, “ The Tolly Touch”, Rays Jeweler, The McCalls Man, Funshine Juice Bars, and many others, too numerous to mention.

In addition to the many talents Sonny had was his expertise as an exceptional and accomplished carpenter, skills taught to him by his father Hines Threatt as a child. Sonny used his abilities to proudly build the family home in which they lived for over 40 years. He loved their beautiful garden and shared his love of nature with everyone.

During Sonnys' life, he owned “Threatt Galleries” which was a unique antique store and this is how he showed his appreciation for craftmanship and protecting and preserving it for history. More recently Sonny inherited a family business, “ The University Shoppe” on East North Street which owned and operated for 10 years.

Sonny was a thinker and a deeply spiritual man. He was greatly influenced by the poetry of Kahlil Gibran and the philosophy of Joseph Campbell. He was one of the hardest workers you would ever meet and everyone knew him for his work ethic. He lived a simple life surrounded by good friends and family who shared his appreciation of the wonders of life and the spiritual connection to the hereafter.

Sonny is predeceased by his mother Jeanne Threat Norris, his father Ellison Hines Threatt, and more recently his lovely sister Rebecca Jane Threatt Morgan also known as “Becky”. Surviving are his wife and partner of 53 years Phyllis Marie Brown Threatt and his two children Allison Brantley Threatt Goldford and Elizabeth (Liza) Threatt both of Greenville, his sister Jeanne Threatt Hoffman of Mars Hill, NC, and Anne Threatt Dupins of Dallas, Texas, many cousins, nieces, and nephews, as well his dog "Archie" and cat "Aurie". It gives the family great joy to know that he is now with his two lifelong friends who just recently passed, Louis Russel “Rusty” Burress and Murray S. Judy.

Sonny will be greatly missed by all of us that loved, needed, and admired him.


A Celebration of Sonny’s life will be determined at a later date for close friends and family.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ellison "Sonny" H. Threatt Jr, please visit our flower store.


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