George "Harmonica" Smith
|Tags:||blues harmonica harmonica blues american harp|
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22 April 1924, Helena, Arkansas, USA, d. 2 October 1983, Los Angeles, California, USA. A master of amplified and chromatic blues harmonica, George Harmonica Smith made a stunning debut in 1954 with Telephone Blues/Blues In The Dark, but failed to capture the audience that elevated Little Walter to stardom. This may have been because his west coast record label tended to back him with saxophones rather than the guitar-based sound of Chicago. Smith had worked in Chicago and Kansas City, but resided in Los Angeles from 1955, where he worked as a name act and accompanied Big Mama Thornton for many years. Smith continued to make recordings of variable quality, and was briefly a member of the Muddy Waters band. He toured Europe during the late 60s and early 70s, and was a member of the mainly white blues band Bacon Fat alongside fellow harmonica player Rod Piazza. In the 70s he teamed up with William Clarke and the duo continued...