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Charlie McCoy - Harmonica

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Published on May 13, 2008

Collected and edited by harmonica4u
"Born, Charles Ray McCoy, his family left West Virginia when he was a boy to live in Miami, Florida. At age eight, he began playing the harmonica, developing his skills to where he decided to pursue a career in music. In 1959, the eighteen-year-old McCoy moved to Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital of the world. Unable to find much work as a session player, he returned home but refused to give up on his dream and enrolled in courses on musical theory while taking vocal lessons. His determination paid off when he was given a chance by Monument Records to play the harmonica on the 1961 Roy Orbison recording of "Candy Man". The song opens with a harmonica riff that is an integral part of the musical production. As a result of this successful collaboration, the door was opened wide for McCoy and he went on to work as a sessions player for some of the other big names in music including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr and Ween.

As well as his hamonica playing, McCoy is also proficient on the guitar (notably, his acoustic work on Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row", from the album Highway 61 Revisited, and "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands", from the album Blonde on Blonde,) bass (on all the tracks from Bob Dylan's John Wesley Harding,) keyboards, and drums plus on several wind and brass instruments. In addition to his studio work, for 19 years McCoy worked as music director for the popular television show, Hee Haw. As well, he has sung and played on more than two dozen record albums of his own and in 1973 won the Grammy Award for Best Country Instrumental Performance for his album, "Charlie McCoy/The Real McCoy." - Wikipedia.org

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