Harmonica Almanac – December 17

Chicago Blues singer and harmonica player Paul Butterfield was born on this day in 1942. Butterfield put together one of the first integrated Blues bands in Chicago and went on to introduce the Blues to a new generation of fans.

Harmonica player and designer Bobbie Giordano was born on this day in 1947. Bobbie, along with partner Douglas Tate, designed the Renaissance chromatic harmonica, a high-end instrument that I got to play once. A very nice harmonica, indeed!

Harmonica player, historian and technician Richard Sleigh. Not only is Richard a master player, but is considered to be one of the masters of customizing harmonicas. Sleigh was born on this day in 1951.

Blues guitar and harmonica player Big Joe Williams died on this day in 1982. He was best known as a 9-string guitar player, but could also play the harmonica. He worked steadily from the 1920’s until his death. He also helped to start the careers of Muddy Waters and Bob Dylan.

Avant-Garde Rock musician Captain Beefheart played just about any instrument he could get his hands on, including the harmonica. He was closely associated with Frank Zappa and put out quite a few albums between the mid-1960’s and the late 1980’s. Beefheart died on this day in 2010.

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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