Today: The late Little Walter was born in 1930 – 83 years ago

little walter

..king of all post-war blues harpists,…. The fiery harmonica wizard took the humble mouth organ in dazzling amplified directions that were unimaginable prior to his ascendancy.
~Bill Dahl (

Induction of Little Walter into R&R Hall of Fame in 2008:

Walter’s Jump – Live @ American Folk Blues Festival 1967, Germany:


Little Walter, born Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930 – February 15, 1968), was an American blues harmonica player, whose revolutionary approach to his instrument has earned him comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix, for innovation and impact on succeeding generations. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners’ expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. Little Walter was inducted to the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 in the “sideman” category making him the first and only artist ever to be inducted specifically for his work as a harmonica player.

little walter


His legacy has been enormous: he is widely credited by blues historians as the artist primarily responsible for establishing the standard vocabulary for modern blues and blues rock harmonica players. His influence can be heard in varying degrees in virtually every modern blues harp player who came along in his wake, from blues greats such as Junior Wells, James Cotton, George “Harmonica” Smith, Carey Bell, and Big Walter Horton, through modern-day masters Sugar Blue, Billy Branch, Kim Wilson, Rod Piazza, William Clarke, and Charlie Musselwhite, in addition to blues-rock crossover artists such as Paul Butterfield and John Popper of the band Blues Traveler. Little Walter was portrayed in the 2008 film, Cadillac Records, by Columbus Short.

Awards & recognition: 

  • 1986 – Blues Hall of Fame: “Juke” (Classics of Blues Recordings – Singles or Album Tracks category)
  • 1991 – Blues Hall of Fame: Best of Little Walter (Classics of Blues Recordings – Albums category)
  • 1995 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: “Juke” (500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll)
  • 2003 – Rolling StoneBest of Little Walter (#198 on list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time)
  • 2008 – Grammy Awards: “Juke” (Grammy Hall of Fame Award)
  • 2008 – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Little Walter inducted (Sideman category)
  • 2008 – Blues Hall of Fame: “My Babe” (Classics of Blues Recordings – Singles or Album Tracks category)
  • 2009 – Grammy Awards The Complete Chess Masters: 1950–1967 (Best Historical Album Winner)

The Best Of Little Walter (full album):

Playlist of the day:

Other May-01:

  • Wayne “The Train” Hancock (Born May 1, 1965) is a country musician. Hancock began writing songs at the age of 12, and at 18 won a talent contest called the “Wrangler County Showdown.” Immediately after the contest, he was shipped to recruit training and served four years with the United States Marine Corps. In 1994 he performed in the musical Chippy. Hancock released his debut album in 1995, and has continued to tour and record albums since then. He lives in Austin, Texas.His music is comparable to that of Hank Williams and Hank Thompson.Hank Williams III, who is often compared to Hancock, has recorded some of Hancock’s material, including “Thunderstorms and Neon Signs” and “87 Southbound”. The two have also recorded a live duet of Hancock’s “Juke Joint Jumpin'”.
  • Johnny Colt (born Charles Brandt May 1, 1966, Cherry Point, North Carolina) is an American bass guitar player.
    He was the original bassist for The Black Crowes which formed in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Bob Dylan recorded: Precious Angel, Property of Jesus, Watered Down Love, Let’s Stick Together… and best of the bunch.. :
    New Pony @ Rundown Studios, Santa Monica, California in 1978.