The Hohner guys gave me one when I crossed paths with them in Memphis. I'll be offering a video preview when I get a chance. But yes: It's an excellent harp. It's a Marine Band circa the mid-1970s, basically, with the black comb. It plays and sounds great. Like when I used to try out five MB's at a NY music store and pick the liveliest one. It's a lively harp. Plus that old school cardboard case. Yummy!
As many of you may know, I have been the Authorized Agent for Sonny Terry Estate LLC for about the past four years. As such, I have known about this project for several months but was sworn to secrecy. I do have a supply of the Heritage Edition Harps if anyone is interested. I just got them in the other day and haven’t had a chance to list them on my website yet. I have, however, listed a few dozen of Sonny’s Estate Harmonicas. You can see them at www.sonnyterry.net. In addition to some of Sonny’s harps, I will be listing other memorabilia from his estate very soon. I have all sorts of interesting items, including posters, original contracts, a couple of the shirts Sonny wore while performing – the ones with all the pockets stitched to the outside of the shirt – a couple of his harmonica cases and two of Sonny’s leather harmonica belts. There is quite a lot of memorabilia. It is a lot of work to take photos, create descriptions and create listings.
Since I started working with the estate, we have accomplished a lot of good work. We have raised some money for the estate. We organized a Sonny Terry Tribute performance at the 2017 SPAH Convention. We have gifted estate harmonicas to a number of prominent harmonica players who have helped keep Sonny’s legacy alive. We have donated choice selections from Sonny’s Estate which has created a permanent exhibit at the Harmonika Museum in Trossingen, Germany. We are currently working with the National Museum of African American History in Washington, DC (part of the Smithsonian Museums) to create an exhibit. Likewise, the National Blues Museum in St. Louis, MO.
At this stage of the proceedings, the estate is very motivated to move most of the items from Sonny’s collection. As you may know, Sonny passed in 1986 and all his worldly possessions went to his wife Emma. When Emma died in 2012, everything was passed along to her niece, Delores Boyd. All of Sonny’s collection had essentially been sitting in boxes in a closet for about 25 years. Delores began the task of cataloguing everything in the estate and trying to figure out what to do with it. I was introduced to Delores by our very own Adam Gussow, who had been commissioned by Delores to appraise some of Sonny’s harps.
If you have any interest in the items listed on SonnyTerry.net or any questions about other items that are available, please do not hesitate to contact me. Even if you are not personally interested, if you could help spread the word to your fellow harmonica enthusiast friends, it would be much appreciated. Within the next couple of weeks, I will have everything listed and will be launching a big promotional campaign. The folks at Hohner have graciously agreed to assist us by having us piggyback on the publicity to promote the Heritage Edition Marine Band.
Does this new Sonny Terry harp have 7-limit just intonation tuning? Like the harps Sonny Terry and Little Walter and Big Water and Sonny Boy Williamson used back in the old days? Does anyone know? I've always liked that particular tuning and I've often wondered why all the major harmonica companies around the world have never offered the 7-limit just intonation tuning in 'addition' to the ones we have today. I know Ben Hewlett sells this type of tuning with his Sonnyboys Mojo harp, but it's surprising that Hohner of all companies don't make a 'Vintage Marine Band' with 7-limit just intonation tuning.
Actually George, that is not accurate. The Heritage Edition is not tuned to 7-Limit. It is tuned to Modern Compromise Temperament just like the usual Marine Band 1896s are. We did discuss the possibility of making the Heritage Edition a little more period authentic by having it tuned to 7-Limit, but in the end Hohner decided (based on the advice of some hevy hitters) opted to stick with Modern Compromise. Good question though, Walter. ---------- Tom Halchak Blue Moon Harmonicas
The Sonny Terry Edition is tuned closer to just ie:Marine Band, MB Deluxe, Special 20, the new Rocket model and the MB Thunderbird,than it is to the MS Blues Harp, MS Meisterklasse, Big River, Cross harp, Pro Harp, MS Marine Band (discontinued and only issued in Europe), Martin, Tiffany, MS Bob Dylan, MS Steven Tyler models which are tuned closer to equal temperament.
Last Edited by tmf714 on Feb 14, 2020 2:09 PM
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