Harmonica Almanac – August 17

Country harmonica player Wayne Raney was born on this day in 1921. Raney learned to play the harmonica at the age of five and by the time he was 13 he was performing on the radio. In 1936 he teamed up with fellow harmonica player Lonnie Glosson and the two worked together, on and off, for the next 25 years.

Known mostly as one of the greatest of Chicago’s greatest Blues guitarists, Luther Allison could also play the harmonica. He recorded about two dozen albums of his own music as well as appearing on recordings by others. Allison was born on this day in 1939.

Classical composer Robert Russell Bennett died on this day in 1981. Bennett wrote “Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra” for Cham-Ber Huang in 1974.

Blues harmonica player Hammie Nixon learned how to play the harmonica from Noah Lewis and worked with partner Sleepy John Estes on and off from 1924 until Estes died in 1977. Nixon died on this day in 1984.

Classical composer Graham Whettam died on this day in 2007. In 1951 he wrote “Concerto Scherzoso for Harmonica and Orchestra” for Larry Adler, “Fantasy for Harmonica and Orchestra in 1953 and “Second Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra” in 1961, both for Tommy Reilly.

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

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

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