Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Big Walter Horton
Album:Mouth Harp Maestro
Blues harmonica great Big Walter Horton likely would have been a bigger star if he had a bigger ego. He certainly had the talent but he was a very modest and unassuming gentleman. He was born Apr. 6, 1917 in Horn Lake, MS near Memphis. His father gave him a harmonica at age five and when he moved to Memphis with his mom, he played in the street for tips. He played with the Memphis Jug Band as a teen and learned more about his craft from Jug Band harmonica player Will Shade. He played all over Memphis during the 30s and even went to Chicago for a time but quit the music business in the 40s. He returned in 1948 with B.B. King and bandleader Eddie Taylor. In 1951, he recorded under his own name for the first time for Sam Phillips as Mumbles. These recordings were leased to Modern Records and released nationally by King Records. This comp from the British reissue label Ace Records covers those recordings. Blues fans should check it out. Horton joined Muddy Waters' band in 1953 when Junior Wells was in the service and Horton would become a Chess Records session player when Wells returned. Horton would record occasionally under his own name but seemed to prefer session work and that's what he did for most of his career. Big Walter Horton died on Dec. 8, 1981 at age 64. Here's Big Walter Horton performing Shakey's Blues in 1965.