Little Walter

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Ben Harper
  • Category:
    Musical Excellence
Little Walter


Little Walter stretched the harmonica to its limits.

He could make the instrument sob, howl and roar, all the while masterfully filling in the spaces around Muddy Waters’ full-bodied vocals.

Hall of Fame Essay


Ashley Kahn

"Little Walter,” they called him. Often, there would be a certain four-syllable epithet inserted in the middle, reflecting the height of respect his musical talent commanded - and the level his anger could reach.

Small in stature he may have been, but there was nothing diminutive about his influence or his attitude. Musically, Marion Walter Jacobs was a giant. The blues, of the electric Chicago variety, were his area of expertise. The harmonica, blown through a bullet-shaped microphone, was his instrument of choice. Jacobs drew from what he heard - the spontaneity and sophisticated swing of jazz, the distortion and raw majesty of electric blues to create a fluid and fiery vocabulary. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2008
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