Harmonica Almanac – January 10

Outlaw Frank James was born on this day in 1843. Legend has it that his life was spared when a bullet was stopped by the harmonica he carried in his pocket.

Bluesman Sam Chatmon was born on this day in 1897. Chatmon came from an extended musical family that included Bo and Lonnie Chatman and half-brother Charlie Patton. He played several instruments including the harmonica.

Early Country singer and harmonica player Garley Foster was born on this day in 1905. He played with The Carolina Tarheels in the 1920’s and 30’s and with Doc Watson in the 50’s and 60’s.

Big Daddy Neal Pattman learned to play the harmonica at the age of nine from his father. After retiring from his full-time job as a dishwasher he pursued music full-time, toured and even recorded several albums. He was born on this day in 1926.

Rock singer Rod Stewart was born on this day in 1945. Stewart began his career in Cyril Davies’ group, Blues Incorporated. He occasionally plays the harmonica.


Blues harmonica player Johnny Hoy has been playing professionally since the 1980’s, recording several albums of strong Blues music. Hoy was born on this day in 1957.

Blues legend Howlin Wolf died on this day in 1976. You cannot say too much about Howlin’ Wolf, he was more than just a singer and harmonica player, he was a force of nature.


Blues Singer, guitar and harmonica player Wade Walton was a fixture in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Not only known as a Bluesman, Walton worked as a barber and cut the hair of virtually every Bluesman who passed through Clarksdale. He died on this day in 2000.

Classical harmonica player and harmonica designer Cham-Ber Huang died on this day in 2014. Huang had a career that spanned decades and he was much revered, not only for his playing, but for the harmonica he designed for Hohner and his own company as well.


That’s it for today. Have fun and practice!

Pete Krampert

Pete Krampert

I am the author of "The Encyclopedia of the Harmonica", which is still available on the internet in limited edition.

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