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Author Topic: Video about harmonica on the Today! LP  (Read 809 times)
aeijtzsche
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« on: June 02, 2020, 06:30:17 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL0Ws9ByAD4

When I think of the Beach Boys and harmonica, I think of Tommy Morgan playing chunky bass harmonica lines in 1966 and 1967.  But in 1964 and 1965, Brian hadn't quite gotten there yet, and added a couple rudimentary harmonica parts to Today.  Watch the video to find out more!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL0Ws9ByAD4
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 07:06:10 AM »

I'm just gonna copy my post from the other thread and delete it there:


I'm just watching your harmonica video, aeijtzsche. Wonderful!

BTW, here's more on Billy Lee Riley, the guy who plays harmonica on Today's "Help me Ronda". He was an artist on Sam Phillips' Sun Records in the 50s and his band (including Jimmy van Eaton and Roland Janes) became the de facto house band at Sun for a while. A then unknown Jerry Lee Lewis played piano on some of his sessions. Two of Billy's songs have achieved cult status, though not having been big hits back in the day:

Red Hot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3B6NS-yGqQ

Flyin' Saucers Rock 'n' Roll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQGoBLJ58t4

Interesting guy!
It's also the same Billy Lee Riley who in '62 failed to show up for a session at Stax. So the band used the time to record one of their own songs, "Green onions". The band was Booker T. & The MGs


It's very likely this is Billy on harmonica on this Sonny Burgess instrumental, "Itchy":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKG_h95fons



Riley, who was half indian, never made it as big as he deserved it in his opinion; and he definitely has a point there. There is some nice stuff of his' out there, though. Here he is in the mid 60s playing "High heel sneakers", probably in the Whiskey-a-Go-Go according to the youtube user, playing harmonica and guitar:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAExaUtdFNI
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 07:11:00 AM by Rocker » Logged

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To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 01:43:14 PM »

I think the Bob and Bobby single deserves a mention. It features harmonica and bass harmonica.
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2020, 12:07:15 PM »

I'd never heard of a bass harmonica before Beach Boy stuff but just listening to one here you can hear where that distinctive Pet Sounds bass sound comes from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaUh5xX783c
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2020, 08:55:37 PM »

Nice little discussion. I think Al was a harmonica guy... Susie Cincinnati is the one that comes to mind, or even Big Sur. Then there's the melodica on Smiley Smile, which is a similar sound.

I noted that the Billy advertisement said "Produced by Nick Venet."
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2020, 02:05:07 AM »

Re: Billy Lee Riley

I just realized that he actually cut a couple of harmonica albums around that time. HARMONICA AND THE BLUES, BILLY LEE RILEY'S BIG HARMONICA SPECIAL, HARMONICA BEATLEMANIA, FUNK HARMONICA! (FUNK ROCK AND FOLK BLUES)


Source: http://wdd.mbnet.fi/billyleeriley.htm


There's a version of "Cottonfields" on one of the albums:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iUDQ7zYE0c


EDIT: I'm just listening to some of the recordings on Youtube. Doesn't sound too bad. Check them out if you're interested.





I noted that the Billy advertisement said "Produced by Nick Venet."


Good catch!
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 02:18:58 AM by Rocker » Logged

a diseased bunch of mo'fos if there ever was one… their beauty is so awesome that listening to them at their best is like being in some vast dream cathedral decorated with a thousand gleaming American pop culture icons.

- Lester Bangs on The Beach Boys


PRO SHOT BEACH BOYS CONCERTS - LIST


To sum it up, they blew it, they blew it consistently, they continue to blow it, it is tragic and this pathological problem caused The Beach Boys' greatest music to be so underrated by the general public.

- Jack Rieley
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