Harmonica Almanac – March 8

Classical composer Alan Hovhaness was born on this day in 1911. Hovahaness wrote the pieces “Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra” in 1953 and “Seven Greek Folk Dances, Opus 150” in 1956, both for John Sebastian.

British Blues / Rock singer and harmonica player Steve Rye fronted the group, The Groundhogs. After recording two albums of fairly pure Blues, they moved into a harder Rock sound and Rye left the band and played on albums by other artists. Rye was born on this day in 1946.

Country harmonica player Don Brooks was born on this day in 1947. In addition to being Waylon Jennings steady harmonica player, Brooks worked with Jerry Jeff Walker, Judy Collins, Ringo Starr and a host of others.

Ron “Pigpen” McKernan sang, played keyboards and harmonica for the Grateful Dead from its earliest days as a Blues band. You can hear some very nice harmonica on the Bear’s Choice live CD. Pigpen died on this day in 1973.

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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