Some of The Most Famous Harmonica Players

Players of Fame

While the harmonica is only a century old, it has made a big difference to the music industry.  In fact, there are several players that have made a huge difference to the music industry by playing the harmonica.

Listed below are not just harmonica players that are famous, but also players that have influenced the harmonica and more broadly the music industry.  Enjoy!

Larry Alder

Alder may not have been the inventor of the original harmonica; however he effectively invented the chromatic harmonica.  He wanted an instrument that could match in with a variety of different music types, in a variety of keys.  The chromatic was his answer.

He was also a phenomenal player and would draw large crowds whenever he performed.  From reviews, not only was he a great player, but it was almost impossible to take your eyes off him on stage.  A true advocator for the industry.

Charlie McCoy

Not many people have heard of Charlie McCoy outside of the harmonica or country music world, however he has had a huge input on the music industry.

He is credited by many to creating a genre of country harmonica music.  While there had been some players that tried before hand – Wayne Rainey to name but one – he was the one who really took it to the front.  During the 1950s, and even to the 1980s the majority of country albums featured McCoy as the harmonica player.  He truly did have a huge impact on the harmonica and music world.

Little Walter

The impact of Chicago blues on the harmonica and music world is huge.  The fantastic electronic sounds really brought the harmonica into a league of its own,  Little Walter was right there during the 1940s to 1970s making all of this happen.  A true legend of the industry.

The harmonicats

This doesn’t relate to one specific band,  in fact during the 1940sto 50s almost every city in the America has a harmonica band.

What made the difference was the actually band.  These bands again helped to make the harmonica popular and started to bring in the crowds.  Often this is what people looked forward to each week – especially when money was tight.

Stevie Wonder

While there are a few great players who focused on rock, Stevie Wonder has to be named as one of the best.  His unique style of music and his exceptional harmonica playing really brought in the crowds.  He again helped to keep the instrument popular throughout the ages.

Bob Dylan

It was because Bob Dylan was so famous that his harmonica playing became even more famous.  His legendary harmonica sounds can be heard in many of his favorite songs.

Billy Joel

Finally, Billy Joel deserves a mention.  The harmonica playing in “Piano Man” reinforced just how important the harmonica is to all genre of music.

As can be seen from above, there are many great players – and bands – that have made the harmonica a legendary instrument.  Next time you pick yours up to play, think of all the other greats who have played this humble instrument.

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