Re: A Bit of History


You might want to pick up a copy of "Harmonicas,
Harps and Heavy Breathers: The Evolution of the
People's Instrument" by Kim Field.

It's a great read and offers a rather complete
history of the humble harp... er "mouth organ". In
the first half of the book there's lots of great
information, stories and anecdotes on the old
Rascals and Harmonicats type groups, as well as
high-toned cats like Larry Adler; and then it turns
to the modern masters - everyone from Stevie Wonder
to Little Walter to Howard Levy. Quite
comprehensive, yet wonderfully readable.

You can likely find a copy at Barnes and Noble


Harpin' in Colorado,
- --Ken M.

- --- Howard Chandler <chandler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> BassHarp,
> Someone remarked in another thread how this list
> is dominated by 
> diatonic players.  Well, as a diatonic player, I
> want to say how much I 
> appreciate hearing and seeing stuff about the
> chromatic and orchestra 
> type stuff.  I play the diatonic because this was
> the kind of music that 
> I listened to growing up in the 50's and 60's. 
> That's what was popular.
> I have always loved hearing the stuff that groups
> like the Harmonica 
> Rascals were doing before the war, but about the
> only place that one 
> heard this stuff was if you watched old movies on
> the late late show.  
> Where can I learn more about these groups.  How
> did these players hook 
> up and how did they get into playing their
> various instruments.  I mean, 
> it's one thing for a guy with a chrom or a
> diatonic to be a solo 
> performer (even if it's in your bedroom), but it
> would seem to me that 
> the chord and bass harmonicas really needed to be
> part of an ensemble.  
> Were there conservatories and such for learning
> to play in groups like 
> this?  I'm really fascinated and would love to
> learn more about this 
> kind of stuff. 
> Thanks for posting the pictures.
> Howard Chandler

"When you speak of Walter Horton, the first thing you think of is his tone, that big, fat tone."
- ---Li'l Ronnie Owens

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