Header Graphic
Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Three Greatest Diatonic Harmonica Players
Three Greatest Diatonic Harmonica Players
Login  |  Register
Page: 1

467 posts
Aug 26, 2023
2:06 AM
I was looking at some country music videos on YouTube tonight. A thought crossed my mind.

Question: Who are the three greatest diatonic harmonica players of all time; not just in blues?
Answer: Little Walter, Sonny Terry, Charlie McCoy.

Little Walter because of his creativity, technique, and rhythmic sophistication. Sonny Terry and Charlie McCoy because of their pure tone and incredibly fast playing.

Charlie McCoy is Sonny Terry's equivalent in country music. It's all about the diaphragm-- up down, down up, quickly.


wolf kristiansen

p.s. I acknowledge I ignored the overblowers. Don't jump on me.
468 posts
Aug 26, 2023
2:00 PM
A stupid headline, and an unwise comparison. Blame it on the one or three beer I had on Friday night.

Forget about Little Walter, who's in an untouchable category of his own.

What really prompted this post came from watching some Charlie McCoy videos last night, and hearing a lot of similarities in his and Sonny Terry's playing styles. Both utilize incredibly well controlled, rapid diaphragm movements. Both have a "smooth" sound to their playing, to my ears.

Charlie will always be country though, and Sonny will always be blues.

I have an album of Charlie McCoy playing Little Walter songs. He managed to make them all sound like country tunes.
425 posts
Aug 26, 2023
4:23 PM
Always a big enthusiast of Charlie McCoy. He was a big inspiration to learn to play harp. I took his online course. Real simple, not interactive, Text was in french and his speech was in english.
Highly musically intelligent. Love his style and seamless way of playing. When it came to bending nothing technical you just breather in a little harder. Doesn't get much simpler than that.
4 posts
Aug 27, 2023
3:22 PM
Tommy Morgan should be in their somewhere
154 posts
Aug 30, 2023
10:09 AM
Howard Levy is number one in my book!
825 posts
Sep 01, 2023
2:21 PM
Glad to see Charley Mccoy get some love.
when I first started playing, I naively tried to learn some of his stuff, thinking it wouldn't be that difficult. I learned differently.
Personally I think he's one of the best players I've ever heard.
ted burke
978 posts
Sep 02, 2023
10:10 AM
Harp Hack
8 posts
Oct 05, 2023
2:09 AM
I really think that "best players" need to be by genre. Too hard to compare. Glad you like Charlie though. He revolutionized country harmonica.
3137 posts
Oct 05, 2023
8:27 PM
What about this guy?

Post a Message

(8192 Characters Left)

Modern Blues Harmonica supports

§The Jazz Foundation of America


§The Innocence Project




ADAM GUSSOW is an official endorser for HOHNER HARMONICAS