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2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Little Walter

Little Walter

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

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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