Famous People Who Played The Harmonica
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Famous People Who Played The Harmonica

President Abraham Lincoln carried a harmonica in his pocket, and harmonicas provided solace to soldiers on both the Union and confederate sides of the American Civil War. John Lennon played harmonica on early hits as "Love Me Do", and Bruce Willis also has talent in playing the harmonica.
  • President Abraham Lincoln carried a harmonica in his pocket, and harmonicas provided solace to soldiers on both the Union and Confederate sides of the American Civil War. Frontiersmen Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid played the instrument, and it became a fixture of the American musical landscape.

In his letter, during his presidency, to to the Head of the HohnerHarmonica Company in Germany, Lincoln said:  "Two of my favorite things are sitting on my front porch smoking a pipe and playing my Hohner harmonica."  (http://www.bluzkat.com/harphist.htm)

  • Actually, Abe Lincoln was an American Dixie land jazz trombonist. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Lincoln_%28musician%29).  He began playing trombone at age five, and worked professionally from the early 1920s. In the 1920s and 1930s he spent time playing with Adrian Rollini's California Ramblers (and was the replacement trombonist for Tommy Dorsey), as well as with Arthur Lange, Ace Brigode, Roger Wolfe Kahn, Paul Whiteman, and Ozzie Nelson. Later in the 1930s and into the 1940s he did mostly work in Los Angeles studios as a sideman. During the Dixieland revival of the 1950s his career saw a resurgence, playing with Wingy Manone, the Rampart Street Paraders, Red Nichols, Bob Scobey, Pete Fountain, and Matty Matlock. He recorded with Wild Bill Davison and did freelance work into the 1970s, though he went into semi-retirement by the 1980s. He never led his own recording session, though he recorded copiously as a sideman. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abe_Lincoln_%musician%29).
  • John Winston Ono Lennon played harmonica on early hits as "Love Me Do", "Please Please Me" and "I Should Have Known Better" and in his solo career on songs such as "Oh Yoko!"

Lennon played a number of instruments, including percussion instruments and the flute. His first instrument as a child was the banjo. His mother taught him how to play, then bought him an acoustic guitar. His playing on the mouth organ during a bus journey to visit his cousin in Scotland caught the driver's ear. Impressed, the driver told Lennon of a harmonica he could have if he came to Edinburgh the following day, where one had been stored in the bus depot since a passenger left it on a bus.[174] The professional instrument quickly replaced Lennon's toy. He would continue to play harmonica, often using the instrument during The Beatles' Hamburg years, and it became a signature sound in the group's early recordings.

  • Walter Bruce Willis (born March 19,1955)- American actor known for the TV series Moonlighting and for his role on films such as the Die Hard movies. He plays the harmonica. (http://musiced.about.com/od/famousmusicians1/a/famouspeople2.htm).  Aside from being famous as Demi Moore's ex-husband, Bruce Willis is also the actor and musician known to have been through lots of ups and downs in his acting profession yet still manages to remain subtle and wise in facing problems, (http://www.aceshowbiz.com/celebrity/bruce_willis/biography.html)  After graduating from high school, Willis got a job in a mining village in Alabama. After a colleague was killed on the job, Willis quit and became a regular in several local bars. This was also the period when Willis discovered his musical talents.  He began playing harmonica in a local rhythm and blues band called Loose Goose. After working for a while as a bodyguard, Willis decided to take up acting. He was accepted in to the drama program at Montclair State College, and was cast as Brick in a production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams. As a college junior, Willis dropped out in order to pursue an acting career in New York City.ollege. Instead, he took several ordinary jobs, like security guards, labor works, etc while digging his musical talents as the harmonica player of local blues band Loose Goose. http://www.project80s.com/lyrics/artist-lyrics.php?artist=Bruce_Willis

Stevie Wonder

Background information

Birth name Stevland Hardaway Judkins

Also known as Stevland Hardaway Morris, Little Stevie Wonder, Eivets Rednow, El Toro Negro

Born May 13, 1950 (age 60)

Saginaw, Michigan,

United States

Origin Detroit, Michigan,

United States


R&B, pop, soul, jazz, funk

Occupations Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, activist


Vocals, synthesizer, piano, keyboards, harmonica, drums, bass guitar, congas, bongos, clavinet, melodica, keytar, accordion

Years active 1961–present


Tamla, Motown

Website steviewonder.net


A prominent figure in popular music during the latter half of the 20th century, Wonder has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and won twenty-two Grammy Awards[15] (the most ever won by a solo artist) as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also won an Academy Award for Best Song,[46] and been inducted into both the Rock and Roll[47] and Songwriters[48] halls of fame. He has also been awarded the Polar Music Prize.[49] American music magazine Rolling Stone named him the ninth greatest singer of all time.[50][51] In June 2009 he became the fourth artist to receive the Montreal Jazz Festival Spirit Award.[52]

He has ten U.S. number-one hits on the pop charts as well as 20 R&B number one hits, and album sales totaling more than 100 million units. Wonder has recorded several critically acclaimed albums and hit singles, and writes and produces songs for many of his label mates and outside artists as well. Wonder plays the piano, synthesizer, harmonica, congas, drums, bass guitar, bongos, organ, melodica, and clavinet. In his childhood, he was best known for his harmonica work, but today he is better known for his keyboard skills and vocal ability. Wonder was the first Motown artist and second African American musician to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his 1984 hit single "I Just Called to Say I Love You" from the movie The Woman in Red.

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