[Harp-L] Re: Thomas Hart Benton

Benton recorded at least one LP (33 1/3 RPM) of light modern classical pieces, including "Gay Head Dances" (Gay Head being a place on or near Cape Cod, as opposed to a declaration of sexual preferences or activities--this was the 1950s, after all). I think the LP was called "Saturday Night at the Bentons", or some such title. I have no doubt that it is long out of print.

I played the same pieces as part of a concert series on Cape Cod in 1978-79, and they are not easy. I had to modify some of the lines to make my execution more musical (specifically, a broken C# diminished arpeggio--not easy to hit all those jumps legato at speed). On the recording, Benton apparently hits them without fuss. So he had some facility, which means he played frequently. Whether or not he was a harmonica virtuoso, he loved the harmonica.

Regards, Richard Hunter
harmonica blog at http://myspace.com/richardhunterharp
Latest mp3s always at http://broadjam.com/rhunter

ndavid.coulson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
Have you heard him play? Are there any existing recordings of his playing? In his autobiography he talks about his harmonica orchestra, for which he recruited players from his painting assistants. It would be cool if there were recordings of that!

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