Muddy Waters' Harp Players - A Chronology

The following chronology of the harmonica players in the Muddy Waters Band was compiled by Robert Eagle and edited by Scott Dirks. - Glenn Weiser

See also:
Glenn Weiser's Blues Pages
                Glenn's Harmonica Pages
                Harmonica Books by Glenn Weiser
1946: Jimmy Rogers

1947: Little Walter?

1948: Little Walter

1949: Little Walter

1950: Little Walter (recording with Muddy by about June 1950: CHESS #1434); Jr. Wells 
sitting in

1951: Little Walter

1952: Little Walter: left sometime after "Juke" became a hit.

1952, late: Jr. Wells (including WHO'S GONNA BE YOUR SWEET MAN (CHESS #1542); STANDING AROUND CRYING and GONE TO MAIN
STREET (both CHESS #1526) and IODINE IN MY COFFEE).

1953, early: Jr. Wells (until called up - "short time")

1953, mid-winter: Walter Horton (for 6 or 8 months - "a good while")

1953, late: Henry "Pot" Strong. Jr. Wells back, Absent Without Official Leave.

1954, early: Henry Strong (until his death: 3 June 1954)

1954, June: George Smith (for a year)

1955: George Smith (until about June)

1955, mid: probably George Smith

1955: Jr. Wells? (possibly for a short time while Absent Without Official Leave)

1956: Elgie "Little Sonny" Willis?

1956: James Cotton? (from 1955?) found at West Memphis, Arkansas.

1957: James Cotton

1959: Isaac Washington for United Artists LP in New Jersey - hired by Alan Lomax for Muddy's Carnegie Hall concert.

1959: James Cotton?

1959: Willie Anderson for approximately one month.

1960: James Cotton

1961: James Cotton (to about August when he went to England.)

1962, about February: George "Mo - Jo" Buford

1962, August: George "Mo - Jo" Buford still

1962, about December: George "Mo - Jo" Buford (moved to Minneapolis in about December 1962/ January 1963, left after Pat Hare, but he took Pat with him).

1963: James Cotton 

1964: James Cotton (including November 1964 at Cafe Au Go Go, New York City.)

1965: James Cotton (including 2 July 1965)

1966: James Cotton (including 25 April 1966 at San Francisco) (Arhoolie LP #1032)

1966, June: Cotton left to form own group (refer Blues Unlimited 35 / 6)

1966, about July: George Smith (including NYC, August 1966) (refer Jazz Journal October 1966).

1966, November 25: George Smith (NYC) (refer Jazz Journal May 1967)

1966, about December: George Smith (left a "few weeks ago" as at 3/1/67)

1967: George Buford (replaced Smith & including July 1967 & November 1967) (refer Record Research  88/5)

1968, about March: Birmingham Jones (to about October 1968)

1968, November: Paul Oscher (incl English tour) (refer Blues Unlimited 59/12). Other sources have Oscher playing with Muddy as early as July 1968.

1969, January: Paul Oscher (Philadelphia) (refer "Road Runner")

1969 Jeff Carp and Paul Butterfield for "Fathers & Sons" recording sessions only.

1969, about December: Paul Oscher

1970, about June: Carey Bell (on tours and including November 1970 in Sweden & England)

1971: George Smith

1971: Paul Oscher, 4 May 1971?

1971, June: Paul Oscher (and Cotton for recordings)

1971, December (UK): Carey Bell

1972, about March: George "Mo - Jo" Buford (replaced Paul Oscher in March 1972) (refer Blues World 37/ 9)

1972, March: Cotton, for recordings

1972, June (Europe France/ Switzerland): Buford

1972, September (Michigan): Buford

1973, May: George "Mojo" Buford in Australia.

1973, June 29: Buford

1974, January 16: probably Jerry Portnoy

1974, January 29/30 (recordings): Buford, Paul Oscher, Carey Bell

1974, Santa Cruz: Carey Bell

1974, July 24: Jerry Portnoy

1974, September: Jerry Portnoy in Australia

1975, 1975, February 6/7 (Woodstock recording sessions): Butterfield

1976, April: Portnoy

1976, October 4/10 (Blue Sky recordings): James Cotton

1976, October 22 (Poland): Jerry Portnoy

1976, October 29 (Germany): Portnoy (and Wells sitting-in)

1976, November 4 (Switzerland): Portnoy

1976, November 25: Butterfield (live)

1977, March 18: Portnoy

1977, July 9 (France): Portnoy

1977, October/ November: Portnoy and Horton (Blue Sky)

1978, August 27 (Blue Sky recordings): Cotton

1979: Portnoy

1980: Portnoy and Cotton (Blue Sky recordings). Portnoy left in 1980 to form The Legendary Blues Band.

1980, August 16: Buford

1981, November 22: Buford (and Wells sitting in at Checkerboard Lounge)

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