Re: Women harpers and the Little Lady?

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>Seeing CarolynÕs post made me wonder how many women we have on the 
>Harplist. I hope we will hear more from her and others. I would make 
>special appeal to the fairer sex to submit to the Harp Tape-our harmonica 
>machismo wants feminine counterbalance. I would really like to know of 
>women who played or play the harp. I've read the few books I can find about 
>the blues, but can find no mention of female harpists. Memphis MInnie? Big 
>Mama Thorton, maybe? Who? 

I second that! We need to hear more form the ladies. Check Kim Field's new 
book Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers. I know Mildred Mulcay is covered. 
She is one fine chromatic harmonicist. Minnie & Mama may be mentioned in the 
blues section - I haven't read that far yet.

Why are there not more female harmonica players? It baffles me. I think there 
are more out there than we know of. Chamber Huang says girls make the best 
harmonica students. In my limited teaching experience (chromatic) the ladies 
have done better by far than the men. And, when I announce that I'm teaching 
another class, there is always more interest from the ladies - and it ain't my 
good looks either. In our club four of our best readers are women - the fifth 
lady is a fine player but I don't know if she reads. Yet, all shy away from 
the microphone, refuse to play solos, etc.   So go figure. Is it becaues men 
like to "show off" more? - So you hear more of them?

>Now, IÕve got a trivia question. I just bought a Little Lady and a Piccolo 
>Harp to give to my eight year old daughter for Christmas (she learned Mary 
>Had A Little Lamb on one of my harps-now I'm teaching her blues licks. Dig 
>that! Eight year old female blues harper.). Does anyone know if any of the 
>harp masters gave recording space to these tiny instruments? (Little Lady 
>MUST be the tiniest musical instrument in the world. If not, what?) How 
>about the national and international contests? Is there a catagory for 

For one - Don Les plays the Little Lady in the old Jerry Murad's Harmonicats 
recording of "Harmonica Boogie". Richard Hunter wrote about him in his book 
"Jazz Harp" in the 'Roots of Jazz' chapter - but didn't realize who he was 
writing about - he said something like "This guy really knows his way around 
the top end of the diatonic harmonica". Dick Gardner, bass player for the the 
Cat's after Don left, also mastered the Little Lady and may be on Cat's 
recordings later than ?? - circa 1974.

Jack Ely          ely.j@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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