[Harp-L] Jimmy Riddle playing chromatic harmonica on polkas

Joseph Leone 3N037@xxxxx
Sun Mar 25 14:03:10 EDT 2018

> On Mar 23, 2018, at 10:53 PM, Rick Dempster <rickdempster33 at xxxxx> wrote:
> Love it! But that "Hee Haw" clip is dubbed I'd say. He's in A & E, and
> unless he's got an A (or E) harp (possible) he couldn't
> play all that without use of the button, which he does not appear to be
> doing.

He’s probably using an A tuned (3 sharps) chromo and switching to G (1 sharp) to get E (4 sharps).
And yes, he is using the slide. He uses his thumb most of the time. Hard to see with the cupping.
I agree that this particular clip was dubbed.  

> Anyway, the movement of the harp sems out of sync in general.

Yes, it does. At least to me. Not in synch. He may have had tape over the mouthpiece for the video?
But it might have been previously recorded? 

> I have Riddle on some old recordings, and like most chrom players back then
> (and not a few now)
> he plays in first position most if not all then time.

Mr Riddle was known to use first position. Similar to McCoy who, when he did play chromo, used one
that was tuned IN the tune he was doing. Example: ’T.D’s Boogie’. The beginning is done on a G tuned
chromo. for the first couple bars, then McCoy goes to a C diatonic in cross harp (2nd position) with a
multitude of bends. 

When I was at Ernest’s music store in 75 and showing how I was going to do Frosty the Snowman on
the Ryman Christmas show, Riddle was there listening. He asked me how I was able to get a sharp on
the 5 draw. I told him that I had cut the reed UP one sharp. He nodded his head in approval. 

But, all in all, Riddle was an accomplished player nonetheless. Clarinet polka isn’t a super difficult tune
to begin with BUT at the speed he is going, it does take some concentration. His piccolinos are the result 
of his ability to do something called: ‘Eefin’. Riddle was over shadowed on Hee Haw. I guess because
 McCoy was musical director for a while, and even HE only played occasionally.So didn’t want harmonica
 to be over exposed. 

And I could have done without the piggies. It only exacerbates the problem that harp (in general) is looked
upon as a toy or Johnny Adventure Jokey Joke instrument. Aaaargh.


> Thanks for that.
> RD
> On 24 March 2018 at 03:59, Gary Lehmann <gnarlyheman at xxxxx> wrote:
>> The Jethro Burns of the harmonica!
>> Don't get me started on eefin . . .
>> On Thu, Mar 22, 2018 at 1:16 PM, David Naiditch <davidnaiditch at xxxxx
>> wrote:
>>> A fiddler recently told me about Jimmy Riddle playing chromatic harmonica
>>> on Clarinet Polka with fiddler Howdy Forrester. I’ve always enjoyed the
>>> sound of fiddle and harmonica.  This is the only tune on this MGM album
>>> that features Jimmy. (I've been hearing this polka played for years at
>>> fiddle competitions and festivals.)
>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8W_85umzOqs <https://www.youtube.com/
>>> watch?v=8W_85umzOqs>
>>> Here is another example of Jimmy Riddle playing a polka—Jesse Polka--on
>>> chromatic. Love those dancing pigs.
>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpfiwMVR6ls <https://www.youtube.com/
>>> watch?v=TpfiwMVR6ls>

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