[Harp-L] Charlie McCoy's first recording session as a harmonica player

JOSEPH LEONE 3n037@xxxxx
Fri Jun 26 13:53:02 EDT 2020

Fairly simple repetitious riff. And I'm not convinced that McCoy knew what positions were. Not at 20 at least. Hey, I could be dead wrong. 
Many people have played harmonicas in off the wall positions and didn't know that they WERE positions. And probably couldn't tell you WHAT they were doing except that they 'found' a harp that worked. 
I DO know that the few times I have seen/heard Charlie play chromatic, he used one tuned TO the tune he was playing. I recall that we were playing once and using Bb diatonics in the second position for F, and I even did a solo on chro martic.
He asked me if I was using an F chromo. and I showed him that I was using a C.
AND in the huge compendium of tunes that he had played on vinyl over the years, he always seemed to use second position.

Charlie used to use 2 or more diatonics for some tunes. Example: 'Londonderry Aire (Oh Danny Boy). He used a D crossed for the head, then an A straight for the bridge, than back to a D. Then he would go up one sharp, use an Eb crossed for the head, a Bb straight, and back to an Eb crossed. Four harps. 

I only used two. But I had changed one reed. Something he discovered many years later. 


> On 06/26/2020 6:51 AM Ken H in Ohio <airmojoken at xxxxx> wrote:
> That's a great song and excellent playing by Charlie McCoy.
> I wonder if Charlie knew he was playing in what we now call "5th position"
> back then ?
> Probably did, but I still wonder about it.
> Ken H in OH
> On Thu, Jun 25, 2020 at 8:54 PM Peter Madcat Ruth <madcat at xxxxx>
> wrote:
> > Charlie McCoy's first recording session as a harmonica player was in 1961
> > when Charlie was 20 years old.
> >
> > The song was "I Just Don't Understand", by Ann-Margret.
> >
> > The song was in the key of Am and Charlie was playing an F harmonica  -
> > that’s fifth position!
> >
> > check it out:
> > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDagZECOhJc
> >
> >
> > Peter Madcat Ruth
> >

More information about the Harp-L mailing list