[Harp-L] Sonny Terry Estate harmonicas

Tom Ball havaball@xxxxx
Tue Aug 2 10:50:39 EDT 2016

Ever since I was a kid my harmonica hero has been the late Sonny Terry. I saw him play many times, starting back in high school by seeing Brownie and Sonny in many venues and in several countries. He has always been my biggest influence and my harmonica mentor. Twenty years ago I wrote a book about him and his style. We even share the same birthday - October 24.

So I had been following with interest the recent marketing of a few of Sonny’s personal harmonicas online, and was recently contacted by Tom Halchak of Blue Moon Harmonicas regarding these harps. Although based in Florida, Tom mentioned to me that he and his son were driving up the California coast on vacation, and he wondered if we might get together. I had been impressed by the care and the dignified manner in which Tom — along with Sonny’s niece Delores Boyd — had been handling the liquidation of these instruments, and was also curious about the Blue Moon line, so I readily accepted. So Tom and his son Nick came over to my place one afternoon last week.

Sonny had died 30 years ago and had left eveything to his wife, Emma Terry. Now Emma had also passed, and her niece Delores had inherited most of the estate — including Sonny’s own personal harmonicas. Tom Halchak is working in conjunction with Delores to make these rare and collectible instruments available. I had noticed that a few of them had popped up for auction, all very nicely packaged in a wood and glass display case with all documentation, a copy of Emma’s will, certificates of authenticity, etc. Beautiful display job — but alas, not within this musician's price range.

Anyways, much to my amazment and delight, Tom told me that he and Delores had decided that a few of the harps should be presented to certain players who they had determined were helping to keep Sonny’s legacy alive — and that I was one of those players. I nearly fell over! Here is a video.

Tom mentioned that he will have several of these harps at the Blue Moon booth at the upcoming SPAH Convention, so anyone attending that can take a peek. And, oh yeah, I almost forgot — the Blue Moon Harps are mighty special, too! 

Thank you sincerely Tom and Delores — to say you made my day would a ridiculous understatement!

Here’s the link to the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juq_d90WScE 

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