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George "Harmonica" Smith facts for kids

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George Smith
Birth name Allen George Smith
Also known as George "Harmonica" Smith
Born (1924-04-22)April 22, 1924
Origin West Helena, Arkansas USA
Died October 2, 1983(1983-10-02) (aged 59)
Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres Blues
Instruments Blues harp
Years active 1950s – 1980s
Associated acts Muddy Waters, Bacon Fat

George "Harmonica" Smith (born April 22, 1924 in West Helena, Arkansas; died October 2, 1983 in Los Angeles, California ) (born Allen George Smith) was an American blues harmonica player.

Life and career

George Harmonica Smith
George "Harmonica" Smith in 1980

Born in West Helena, Arkansas he was brought up in Cairo, Illinois.He began playing professionally in 1951. He joined Muddy Waters' band in 1954. He was again member of the band in 1966.He left Chicago and spent much of his adult life on the West Coast.

Smith played with the blues combo, Bacon Fat, and mentored its harmonica player Rod Piazza. After this he played harmonica for Big Mama Thornton in the 1970s. He appeared on her album Jail (1975).Another student of him was William Clarke.

On the few solo albums he recorded one can hear the influence of Little Walter on his harmonica playing.George "Harmonica" Smith died in 1983, in Los Angeles, California at the age of 59.

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