Harmonica Almanac – October 24

Blues harmonica icon Sonny Terry was born on this day in 1911. Sonny learned to play the harmonica from his father while growing up in rural Georgia. He developed one of the most distinctive styles of harmonica playing and generations who have followed do their best to copy his playing.

Blues singer, piano and harmonica player Big Willie Mabon began playing the harmonica shortly after his family moved to Chicago in the early 1940’s. By the late 1940’s he began making records, mostly as a piano player but he also did several as a harmonica player. Mabon was born on this day in 1925.

Bass harmonica player Dick Gardner was born on this day in 1934. Dick joined the Harmonicats in the early 1970’s to replace Don Les. Dick is also a world-class harmonica repairman.

Blues harmonica player Corky Siegel played with the groundbreaking Siegel-Schwall Blues Band that has been playing great music since the 1960’s. He’s also had a great solo career, especially with his Chamber Blues group. Corky was born on this day in 1943.

Folk / Blues guitar and harmonica player Tom Ball was born on this day in 1950. Ball began playing the harmonica when he was fourteen and began playing as a duet with guitarist Kenny Sultan in 1979. He has also worked as a studio musician and written several books on the Blues and Blues harmonica.

Blues singer and harmonica player Little Mack Simmons began playing professionally when he was in his teens. He moved to St. Louis in the early 1950’s and worked with Robert Nighthawk. He them moved to Chicago in 1954 and became a regular part of the City’s Blues scene. Simmons died on this day in 2000.

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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