[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
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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