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.
Ben Harper Inducts and Accepts for Little WalterBen Harper Inducts and Accepts for Little Walter at the 2008 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Ben Harper Inducts and Accepts for Little Walter00:02:24
Hall of Fame Essay
"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.
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