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Q. Who are some important harmonica artists?

A: There are several that every harmonicist should know at least something
about. There was a ~favorites~ poll of harp-l published for harp-l on 10
Jan 95.

20,Little Walter Jacobs
17,Sonny Boy Williamson II(Rice Miller)
9,Junior Wells
9,Big Walter Horton
8,Charlie Musselwhite
8,James Cotton
8,Sonny Terry
7,Paul Butterfield
6,Toots Thielman
5,Howard Levy
4,Peter "Madcat" Ruth
3,Bob Dylan
3,Charlie McCoy
3,Jerry Murad
3,Jimmy Reed
3,Kim Wilson
3,Sugar Blue
3,Tommy Reilly
2,Carey Bell
2,Corky Siegal
2,Darrell Mansfield
2,Dom Sgro
2,Howlin’ Wolf
2,James Harman
2,John Gindick
2,John Popper
2,Larry Adler
2,Magic Dick(Richard Salwitz)
2,Norton Buffalo
2,Pete Pedersen
2,Sonny Boy Williamson I(John Lee Williamson)
2,Stevie Wonder
2,Taj Mahal
1,Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson
1,Borah Minnevitch
1,Bruce Willis
1,Curtis Salgado
1,Dan Akyroyd
1,Frank Frost
1,George "Harmonica" Smith
1,Hugh Mckasky
1,Jack Allison
1,Jerry Portnoy
1,John Hammond
1,John Mayall
1,John Sebastian
1,Lee Oskar
1,Little Mike Markowitz
1,Mark Ford
1,Max Geldray
1,Mike Turk
1,Paul Delay
1,Paul Lamb
1,Phil Wiggins
1,Richard Hayman
1,Rick Estrin
1,Robert Bonfiglio
1,Rod Piazza
1,Ross Bon
1,Shakey Jake
1,Slim Harpo
1,Snooky Pryor

 

Another good source is Kim Field’s _Harmonicas, Harps and Heavy Breathers_
from a historical perspective. Many popular artists also play have been
listed under miscellaneous with no regard to style or type plated. Many
play various kinds of harmonica, so there was no designation for kind of
harmonica played, e.g.. chromatic or diatonic, or if they played more than
one style, e.g.. blues and rock, etc. Potentially controversial to be
sure. Inputs, esp. omissions, welcome — HA

Blues: Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson I, Sonny Terry, Sonny Boy
Williamson II (Rice Miller), Little Walter Jacobs and Big Walter Horton are
probably the most influential (Chicago) blues harmonica players, even today
–BB

Anyone who had the opportunity to play for Muddy Waters is automatically a
patron saint of the Chicago sound. The following list is taken from Living
Blues 1991, two of which were listed above, and many went on to form their
own bands, some are still recording today

Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, Junior Wells, Bg Walter,
Henry “Pot” Strong, George Smith, “Little Sonny” Willis ?, James Cotton,
Isaac Washington, Willie Anderson ?, George “Mojo” Buford, Birmingham
Jones, Paul Oscher, Carey Bell, Jerry Portnoy)

Others bluesers of note: Freeman Stowers, Jaybird Coleman, Alfred Lewis,
the Carver Boys, Robert Hill, Bobby Leecan, Chuck Darling, Robert Cooksey,
Will Shade, Noah Lewis, Jed Davenport, Jazz Gillum, Jimmy Reed, John Lee
Henley, Little Willie Foster, Baby Face Leroy, Hot Shot Love, Big John
Wrencher, Billy Boy Arnold, Snooky Pryor, Joe Hill Lewis, Dr. Isaiah Ross,
Jerry McCain, Sam Myers, Howlin Wolf/Chester Burnett, Rhythm Willie,
Papa Alexander Lightfoot, Lazy Lester (Leslie) Johnson, Slim Harpo, Latelle
Barton, Paul Butterfield, Charlie Musselwhite, Harmonica Fats, Adam Gussow
(Satan and Adam), Rod Piazza, Kim Wilson, William C. Clarke, James Harman,
Gary Primich, Sugar Blue (James Whiting), Billy Branch, Sugar Ray Norcia,
Steve Guyger, Danny Russo, Mark Wenner (Nighthawks), Paul deLay, Curtis
Salgado, Steve Nadella, Madison Slim, Rick Estrin (Night Cats), Mark
Hummel, Gary Smith, Kenny Neal. Arthur Moore, Lee McBee, Bill Rhoades,
George Mayweather, Hugh Feely, Child Butler, Mike Markowittz, George
Williams, Pierre Lacocque, Jean-Jacques Milteau, Lazy Lew Beckers, James
Montgomery, Harp Dog Brown.Frank Frost, Raful Neal, Lester Davenport,
Johnny Dyer, Provine Hatcch, Jr., Carlos Del Junco,

Rock: Cyril Davies, Lee Oskar (WAR), Magic Dick (Richard Salwitz of J./Jay
Geils/Bluestime), Norton Buffalo, John Popper (Blues Traveler), John
Sebastian, Jr. (Lovin’ Spoonful), Al Wilson (Canned Heat), Will Scarlett
(Hot Tuna), Corky Siegel, John Mayall, Mark Ford, Andy Just, Doug Jay,
Fingers Taylor, Bob Dylan.

Pop: Stevie Wonder, Chris Smith.

Classical: John Sebastian Sr., Larry Adler, Charles Newman, Leo Diamond,
Mike Chimes, Pete Pedersen, Richard Hayman, Alan “Blackie” Schackner, Stan
Harper, Cham-Ber Huang, Robert Bonfiglio, Adalberto Borioli, Franz Chmel,
George Fields, Claude Garden, Rene Giessen, Sigmund Groven, Jim Hughes, Jim
Hughes, Maria Wolfsberger, Claude Garden.

Jazz: Don Les, Toots Thielemans, Henrich Meurkens, Howard Levy, Mike Turk,
Peter “Madcat” Ruth, Joe Messina, William Galison, Ron Kalina, Ivan Lins,
Mauricio Einhorn.

Folk: Noah Lewis, Will Shade, Jed Davenport, Hammie Nixon, Sonny Terry,
Frank LLoyd, Mel Lyman, Mark Graham, Brendan Power, Phil Wiggins, Jesse
Fuller

Country: H. “Bert” Bibro, John Henry Howard, George Clark, Dr. Humphry
Bate, Herman Crook, DeFord Baily, Lonnie Glosson, Wayne Rainy, Jimmie
Riddle, Onie Wheeler, Charly McCoy (Hee Haw), Don Brooks, Micky Raphael,
Terry McMillan, Mike Stevens, John Gindick.

TV/Movies: George Fields (var. movies, Moon River), , Eddy Manson, Tommy
Morgan (var. movies, Rockford Files) John “Juke” Logan (Rosanne, Home
Improvement) Tollak Ollestad (Northern Exposure), Pete Pederson, Mike
Chimes.

Misc (occassional players): Louis Myers, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Keith
Relf, Eric Burdon, Spencer Davis, Ray Davies, Dennis Payton, Rick Huxely,
Delbert McClinton, Neil Young, John Fogerty, Billy Joel, Clint Black, Tom
Petty, (Aerosmyth), Bono, Stan Musial,

Harmonica Bands/Trios: Borrah Minnevitch Rascals, Harmonicats (Don
Les,Jerry Murad ,Al Fiore), Stagg McMann (Emmanualle “Manny” W. Smith, Hugh
“Pud” McCaskery, Paul “Stag” Steigerwald, and sometimes Jerry Murad).

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