Big Walter

Joe Lempkowski jlemko@PACBELL.NET
Mon Jul 21 00:28:58 EDT 1997

Gregory A. Conn wrote:
>  You gotta be kidding.  As Eric Clapton said in his "Nothin' But The
> Blues" special, Big Walter was not a good harp player at all. In fact
> Eric said that listening to Big Walter showed him that one did not need
> a lot of technical ability or facility to "make it."
>   Walter put his heart and soul into his playing but I agree with
> Clapton, he was definately lacking in facility.

Wow, how can you argue with this opinion and the opinion of Eric

1. I can think of dozens of harp players who would kill for the lack of
facility that Big Walter possessed.

2. Willie Dixon once called Big Walter Horton, "the best blues harmonica
player in the world."  Willie worked with the best throughout his years
with Chess and Cobra.  I would say he knew what he was talkin' about.
He was there and he worked with all of them!

3. Despite popular belief, Eric Clapton isn't God, nor is his word
gospel.  Big Walter never "made it."  The man died pretty much penniless
living in the heart of Chicago's ghetto.  Big Walter probably never
thought that he had "made it."  He may have achieved some recognition
during his career, but like most blues artists he never became rich.
Clapton makes more money in a month than Big Walter likely made in a

4. If Clapton thinks Big Walter had no skill, EC doesn't know shit about
harp playing.

5. The blues is all about expressing feeling and putting one's heart and
soul into the music.  Very few did this as well Big Walter!


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