Re: [Harp-L] Les Paul the harmonica player

I'm pretty sure I've seen CD reissues of Rhubarb Red recordings. Whether he played harp on them I don't know.

The book author evidently never listened to Deford Bailey. "Smoky" and "Soulful" are not the right adjectives for his playing. He's just guessing based, possibly, on the fact that Bailey was black (black -> blues -> all sorts of adjectives including those two). 

Also, the tremolo harmonica that Les Paul and Pie Plant Pete both played is not in any way a bluesy instrument (certainly not for most players, including Pie Plant; with Les Paul, who knows?)

The harmonica neck rack was mentioned in instructional books from the late 1920s; evidently they were commercially available by then. The flippable version is something I've never seen though.
Winslow Yerxa
Author, Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-0-470-33729-5
            Harmonica Basics For Dummies, ASIN B005KIYPFS
            Blues Harmonica For Dummies, ISBN 978-1-1182-5269-7
Resident Harmonica Expert,
Instructor, Jazzschool for Music Study and Performance


>   "One of his favorite musicians was Deford Bailey, Grand Ole Opry's first
> black star, famed for his smoky, bluesy harmonica sound.  Les tuned in the
> Opry broadcast every Saturday night so he could study the veteran
> entertainer's soulful style of blowing."
>   There are a couple of photos in the book showing Les blowing a
> double-sided harmonica.  One of them shows the harp in a rack, circa 1930.
> Les claimed that he invented the rack and could flip the harp with his
> chin, going from a C to a G grid.  According to the author, however, Les
> stole this idea from a radio entertainer named "Pie Plant Pete," who he
> idolized.  Pete "held his double-reed mouth harp in place with a U-shaped
> shoulder brace fashioned from a piece of No. 9 wire.  As far as Pie Plant
> Pete knew, his harmonica holder 'was original and the only one of its kind
> in the world.'"  This would be mid-1920's.

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