Re: [Harp-L] Ray Tankersley
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Stryker" <tstryker1@xxxxxxxxx>
Ray Tankersley, an original Harmonica Rascal and tireless supporter of the
harmonica passed away October 27th, 2008 He was 87 years old and is
survived by his daughter Barbara and son Brad. His wife Margie died some
years ago. Ray appeared prominently, playing harmonica, in the movie
In My Heart" and others
Ray was a music educator, member of "Big Harp," and the "Sharp Harp." His
harmonica credits and harmonica life are well detailed in Al Smith's
book "Confessions of Harmonica Addicts."
To me personally, this is a great loss as I have known Ray for 53 years
he is the one who taught me harmonica and responsible for my harmonica
musical career. He started teaching me when I was 15 in San Francisco..oh
how long ago, lol.
He will be remembered.
I just wanted to chime in about what a class act Ray Tankersley was. I have
fond memories of Ray consistently encouraging me to get as much joy out of
the harmonica as I could possibly get. Ray gave me the chance to fulfill my
fantasy of playing at SPAH opening the show for the Saturday night banquet a
few years ago in his harmonica orchestra. Even more importantly, he helped
amass a large library of music that he played and recorded with his student,
Cynthia Dusel-Bacon. They played as a duet showing off Ray's genius for the
harmonica as Cynthia played the moving lead part on her hands free harmonica
(Vern Smith). Their duo was very special and a great testament to Ray's
commitment to music education.
With Ray's consent, I inherited his seat in the duo with Cynthia just this
year - since Ray couldn't make it to SPAH. It was a great honor and I have
a lot to live up to. I definitely idolize what Ray accomplished over his
lifetime and would be happy if I did half as much over mine. Ray will
definitely be remembered.
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