Harmonica Almanac – February 10
Chromatic harmonica master Larry Adler was born on this day in 1914. Adler had multiple concertos written for him, Gershwin wrote an arrangement of the “Rhapsody in Blue” for him, he was nominated for a n Oscar for best original score and his last album featured Cher, Bon Jovi, Elton John, Robert Palmer, Sting and a host of others.
Blues guitar and harmonica player Oscar Wills began playing music professionally while he was in his teens but stopped playing for about 10 years. After moving to Louisiana in the 1950’s he revived his career and played until he moved to Los Angeles in the 1960’s. Wills was born on this day in 1916.
Pope Pius XI died on this day in 1939. While it is not certain whether he actually played harmonica or not, The Hohner harmonica company presented him with a harmonica with an ivory comb, gold cover plates and encrusted with jewels.
Avant-garde composer Phil Kline wrote “Bachman’s Warbler”, a piece that included parts for the harmonica. Kline was born on this day in 1953.
Jazz harmonica player Clint Hoover was born on this day in 1956. Hoover began playing the harmonica at seventeen, studied with Robert Bonfiglio and has recorded several solo albums as well as appearing on several albums by other artists.
That’s it for today. Have fun and practice!