Subject: Re: [Harp-L] Chi-Lites Question

Three great responses: Roger: I know you were the one who brought the  
question up this time around but couldn't find your post to respond to (I get  
the list in Digest form). I don't believe you posted a link and there  are so 
many. I found this one through Boston MoJoe's one which wasn't 'Live' but  
was the original recording. From there I found some including the ostensibly 
 'live' one from 1972 (closer in time to when the tune was recorded). At 
least  back then they were still acknowledging that it WAS indeed a harmonica 
and  hadn't begun the melodica deception.
Here's a 'credits' area for Cy Touff which lists only one song for  the 
ChiLites for him for harmonica, and it's not 'Oh Girl' but 'A Letter to  
Myself' in 1973. Still, close enough in time to make it plausible since  according 
to his bio he WAS doing studio work around the time:
I had a rather uncomfortable youtube discussion with a lady not so  long 
ago who said she'd been married to Robert 'Spider' Lester (I believe it was  
on the Rolonda Watts live show where a newer version of the ChiLites 
guested).  She insisted the Melodica was played on the original recording despite my 
 attempts to explain how I knew it hadn't been. She was adamant about  it 
'because he'd told her so'. 
As you and Larry both point out, despite being hidden in the shadows for  
the most part, this harp-synching player IS all over the place with the (what 
I  believe to be) a Goliath. Regardless, the high notes are playing when 
HE's on  the middle to low end...the low notes are 'playing' when he's on the 
high side.  While he's faking the actual look of it, he doesn't seem to know 
where any of  the notes are, so can't imagine he's at all the original 
player which leads  back to Rob's contention that it was most likely done by a 
Studio  musician on the original. 
Because the sound was SO necessary for this song, they needed a harp  
player along for their real live performances--ending up with a  Melodica later 
on when attempting to convince everyone that's what had been used  on the 
record (no doubt an 'Executive' decision). Of course the Record  company could 
have simply paid a harmonicist to accompany the group--but why  spend extra 
money? A lot of these groups were short-changed by those who  owned/sent 
them out on tour. At least that's how I see it.
It's still one my list of favourite songs of all time and those opening  
notes are fabulous --taking me right back to that entire style of  sweet/soul 
music which is wonderful to play on harmonica (chromatic for  me) since it's 
so melodious.
Thanks, guys
PS: Roger - Oh Girl by the ChiLites has been an ongoing discussion on  
harp-l for many years, raising its head every so often when someone else  
discovers that haunting harp only to be thrown by being told it's a melodica. 

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