Grammy Award for lifetime achievement
Released album of unaccompanied solos, The Solo Album
The Bridge focused on new improvisational technique honed from playing at Williamsburg Bridge
Pianoless trio captured on Way Out West
Issued Saxophone Colossus
First composition recorded was "Audubon" by J.J. Johnson
Began playing professionally in New York
Twice arrested, once for armed robbery in 1950, and again in 1952 for heroin possession. Later underwent methadone therapy to break his addiction in 1955.
Ornette Coleman stopped using a piano in his groups after seeing and hearing Rollins' success with that format.
His nickname, "Newk," came from his resemblance to the Brooklyn Dodgers' Don Newcombe.
Only one of two surviving musicians who were included in the "Great Day in Harlem" photograph of New York jazz musicians. The other is Benny Golson.
Played on three tracks for the Rolling Stones' "Tattoo You" album in 1981, including the single "Waiting on a Friend."
November 13, 1995 was declared "Sonny Rollins Day" by New York City Hall.