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In the 1850s, clockmaker Matthias Hohner began making harmonicas in Germany. By the turn of the century, his market expanded to America where among countless others, African Americans claimed the instrument as their own. Classic Harmonica Blues from Smithsonian Folkways brims with the creativity of soulful harmonica greats of the 20th century, including Sonny Terry, Doctor Ross, Phil Wiggins, and more. Culled from the historic Folkways Records collection and live performances at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, these recordings take us to the heart of the classic American blues tradition.


  Song Title Artist      
  1. Theme Song Doctor Ross, the Harmonica Boss      
  2. Heart in Sorrow Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry      
  3. Take Your Fingers off It Charlie Burse, Gus Cannon, Will Shade      
  4. Nine Below Zero Eddie Burns      
  5. Bye Bye Bird Charlie Sayles      
  6. Gillum Blues Jazz Gillum      
  7. Crow Jane Blues Sonny Terry      
  8. Dog Days of August John Cephas, Phil Wiggins      
  9. Minglewood Blues John Sebastian, the J Band      
  10. Good Morning Little School Girl Doctor Ross, the Harmonica Boss      
  11. Sweet Home Chicago Phil Wiggins, The Robert Johnson Tribute Band      
  12. One Way Out Eddie Burns      
  13. Boogie Baby Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry      
  14. Low Down Blues Neal Pattman      
  15. Hooka Tooka The Chambers Brothers      
  16. Train Piece Charlie Sayles      
  17. Chicago Breakdown Doctor Ross, the Harmonica Boss      
  18. I Feel so Good Jay Summerour, Warner Williams      
  19. Barbara Allen Blues Roscoe Holcomb      
  20. Custard Pie Sonny Terry
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