The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58633   Message #930764
Posted By: Bob Bolton
10-Apr-03 - 08:07 PM
Thread Name: 'Solo Tuned' Harmonica Question
Subject: RE: 'Solo Tuned' Harmonica Question
G'day again,

silverfish: The big advantages of the Educator 1 arose from the moulded plastic body and completely turned in cover plates. There was nothing to catch ... and they were airtight. Chromatics were less forgiving ... and I developed a tidier (traditional 19th c. - "Newgate Ring") beard style to reduce the ramdom trimming of loose whiskers!

Vixen: The Hohner SBS looks like it might be the same Marine Band that silverfish has. As I read the description, it has two 4-hole octaves at the bass end - with 2 'C's adjacent at holes 4 and 5 ... then the traditional Richter pattern of the vamper harmonica for the rest. This is an interesting approach ... but I would have preferred the Richter chording at the bass end, for good "vamp" accompaniment and the "logical" melody layout at the top.

Actually, I find that a 12-hole Richter tuned harmonica works pretty well, for me ... but they only come in the clunky Marine Band style.

BTW: Your Dad's style sounds like the good old vamping style of the harmonica. The best I have ever heard of this style was on 2 old 78 rpm records of P.C. (Percy) Spouse: Mouth Organ Champion of Australia - (~) 1927, ~'29, ~'32 & ~'35 ... the only years he competed! A later band connection to a musician (flautist, Ray Grieve) who had a family collection to Percy led to Ray chasing up all 10 78s Percy made in the 1930s so his widow Gertie could have a tape of them in hospital.

Ray donated all the records to the National Library of Australia - who encouraged him to write a book on early (1900 - 1950s) mouth organ in Australia. This was eventually published as A Band in a Waistcoat Pocket and launched, with an accompanying 2-CD set featuring all 20 of Percy's tracks plus recordings from 1908 to late '50s ... by the late, lamented, Larry Adler, who was visiting Australia at the time. Unfortunately, it seems to be out of print, but I did manage to get a few spare copies of both book and CDs before they vanished.


Bob Bolton