Harmonica ups & downs
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- Subject: Harmonica ups & downs
- From: "JACK ELY"@mrgate.mec.ohio.gov
- Date: Thu, 10 Mar 1994 14:57:00 EST
- A1-type: DOCUMENT
- Posting-date: Thu, 10 Mar 1994 00:00:00 EST
Thought I'd mention some publicity the harmonica has gotten recently -
actually this was a month ago but I'm just getting around to it.
Talk Radio - Feb. 4, 1994 - I assume this was National:
Robert Bonfiglio was the guest on the Jim Bohannon radio show Feb. 4,
1994 10-11 P.M. - I caught about the last half hour and managed to get it
on tape. I was pleased to see (hear) a harmonica player get a full hour's
worth of attention. He played some samples from his new CD "Romances",
talked harmonica and talked with callers. I kept trying to call in but
never made it. Robert is known mostly for his classical work. But plays
other stuff too, light classical and ballads - like "Send in the Clowns".
He frequently plays with symphonies all over the country. His favorite
chromatic players are Toots Theilmans and Stevie Wonder. (He never
mentioned his mentor Cham-Ber Huang - maybe I missed that in the first
half hour). He grew up on blues - idolizing Sonny Terry, Jr. Wells, James
Cotton and Paul Butterfield. He still picks up a ten holer and plays some
mean blues - He related to one time, after playing with the San Antonio
Symphony, going to a local bar and sat in with a blues band - and closed
A typical tour itinerary for Robert's frequent tours is about 1/3
doing concertos with symphony orchastras. He says there are about 60
concertos written for harmonica.
His new CD was plugged on the show - the first 50 people calling to
order got a free little lady harmonica. I called and should recieve my CD
and LL in a couple weeks. Anyone interested cna call High Harmony Records
1-800-578-5015 to order the CD - 15.00 + 2.50 S & H. Probably too late or
the free harmonica though.
[That was the harmonica up]
The down was... About two days after that great radio publicity - I was
waking up to one of those "Good Morning" type TV shows and there was some
guy - I think they said he was a lawyer - playing a chromatic harmonica
with his nose. GAK!
This stuff usually doesn't bother me - I like to have fun and clown around
- but it hit me wrong. I guess I was still on a harmonica high from that
full hour radio interview. I'll bet millions more saw the guy playing the
harmonica with his nose than heard maestro Bonfiglio - and furthermore
thought it was great.
Often the media seems to like to make little of our instrument. Like the
time a TV personality in Detroit - faked playing a Huang diatonic and then
jumped up and down on it and (while Cham-Ber Huang watched) finished it
off with a hammer. Or the time at one of our recent Buckeye festivals a
radio reporter taped interviews and demonstrations by some of our visiting
professionals (like Don Les and Pete Pedersen) but selected a guy playing
a Little Lady for the broadcast. I don't think they mean any harm but...
Don't you hate guys that get all torqued out of shape and take up
bandwidth to write something like this. But hey, the list hasen't been
that busy latley.
Well, I didn't intend this to be a soap box speach - I'll step down now -
with the thought that any publicty may be better than no publicity at all.
Be of good cheer!
Jack Ely ely.j@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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