Daily Almanac - July 4
US President Calvin Coolidge was born on this day in 1872. Coolidge used to
entertain guests at the White House by playing the harmonica.
Blues historian, singer and harmonica player Al "Blind Owl" Wilson was born
on this day in 1943. A noted collector of early Blues, Wilson teamed up
with Bob Hite to form the band "Canned Heat", which featured Wilson playing
Blues singer and harmonica player Chicago Bob Nelson was born on this day in
1944. Nelson grew up in Louisiana and took harmonica lessons from Lazy
Lester Johnson and Slim harpo. He moved north to Gary, Indiana in the late
1950's and has worked with Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny
Shines and other Blues greats.
Country studio harmonica great Kirk "Jelly Roll" Johnson was born on this
day in 1953. Johnson has played with trisha Yearwood, Randy Travis, Reba
McEntire and other Country stars as well as recording an outstanding album
of his own.
British singer-songwriter, guitar and harmonica player Julian Dawson was
born on this day in 1954. Dawson has recorded quite a few albums of his own
music as well as playing with Del Amitri, The Roches, Gerry Rafferty and
For more about the life, career and recordings of Julian Dawson, please
Jazz saxophone and harmonica player Eddie Shu died on this day in 1986. Shu
started in Vaudeville, playing in harmonica bands. He later became a
featured soloist with Gene Krupa and other big band greats.
Chicago Blues harmonica player Sleepy Otis Hunt died on this day in 1998.
Though he had been playing in Chicago since the 1950's, Hunt was not
recorded until shortly before his death.
For more about the life, career and recordings of Sleepy Otis Hunt, please
That's all I have for today. Have a safe and happy fourth of July.
Peter Krampert, author
The Encyclopedia of the Harmonica
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