Blues harp players “Junior Wells” one of the greats!

Hello Harmonica Lovers!

“Junior Wells”

Junior Wells was born in Memphis Tennessee as (Amos Wells Blakemore Jr.) in 1934′ and died in 1998′ he was known for his Chicago style amplified blues harp and vocals that he had developed. Junior wells was known for a couple of very popular songs like (Hoodoo Man Blues) that was one of them but the most famous song was and still is today (Messin with the Kid.)

Junior Wells performed and recorded with a lot of famous blues artist such as Buddy Guy which I show a picture with him below and other great blues harp players like Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker and even the Rock band the Rolling Stones.

Junior Wells learned to play the harmonica by the age of seven from his cousin “Junior Parker” and the famous Sonny Boy Williamson 11 as pictured here. He moved with his mother to Chicago in 1948′ and starting sitting in with local musicians to perfect his harmonica playing but he first performed with a band called “Aces” influenced by “Little Walter” he developed one of the first amplified style harmonica sound that so many harmonica players use today.

Junior Wells made his first recordings in 1952′ where he replaced Little Walter in the Muddy Waters Band. Wells told the following story, printed on the cover of Hoodoo Man Blues: “I went to this pawnshop downtown and the man had a harmonica priced at $2.00. I wanted that harmonica so bad but couldn’t afford it so I got a job on a soda truck played hooky from school  worked all week and on Saturday the man gave me a dollar and a half. A dollar and a half! For a whole week of work. I went to the pawnshop and the man said the price was two dollars. I told him I had to have that harp. He walked away from the counter and left the harp there. So I laid the dollar and a half on the counter and picked up the harp.

Later when my trial came up, the judge asked me why I did it. I told him I wanted that harp. The judge asked me to play it and when I did he gave the man the 50 cents and hollered “Case dismissed!” (1948)

Junior Wells played all different kinds of harmonicas like the Hohner Blues harp and Chromatic  and others but one of his favorite harmonicas was the Lee Oskar harmonicas.

 

Junior Wells was buried with a tray of Lee Oskar harmonicas
If the information on Wikipedia is reliable, the Hoodoo Man was buried in Chicago in 1998 with a tray of Lee Oskar harmonicas by his side.  Lee Oskar confirms that they were good friends and Junior used his harps. He also recalls hearing a story like this at the time, but he can’t remember any details. Then an email was received from Junior’s Family that stated this……

This is to verify that Jr Wells was buried with Lee Oskar harmonicas. I know this to be a fact because I was there at the funeral. Mr. Oskar also played the most beautiful song (solo). I have never heard a harp played that way before. I would like to thank him for being his friend and honoring us with his presence. The reason I know all of this is because Jr. was my dad. I miss him everyday but his fans and friends help keep him alive for our family. May God bless and keep all of you. Thanks Jr’s Family

 

 

Here’s a video of Junior Wells playing harmonica & Buddy Guy on guitar!

Have you ever heard of Junior Wells?

Did you know he was a great harmonica player?

Did you know that he was one of the first amplified harp players?

Did you know that he replaced the Great “Little Walter” in the Muddy Waters Band”?

Did you know that he played Lee Oskar harmonicas?

I would love to get your feedback on this please leave any comments or questions below and I will reply as soon as possible.

Please come back in the future and visit my website as I’m always adding new and exciting content!

larry@allaboutharmonicas.com

Have a blessed day!

Larry

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