Borrah Minnevitch and His Harmonica School
January 24, 2008 11:46 PM Subscribe
Borrah Minevitch & His Harmonica Rascals - Harmonica Specialty
posted by y2karl (5 comments total)
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and Rascal Bill McBride's vocal turn on Always In My Heart
are excerpts from Borrah Minevitch & His Harmonica School
--a wmv video file of a Vitaphone Short which with no surprise we find at Vitaphone Shorts
, a subsection of Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans
--which was first
brought to our attention by the noble crunchland, albeit at another and now defunct URL, let it be noted. .
Whether the impish and dapper Borrah Minevitch
was the originator of the Harmonica Madness
of the swing era or merely the most successful, many of the following dyi harmonica orchestras
cited him as inspiration
The equally if not more impish and extremely diminutive Rascal in Harmonica Specialty
is one Sammy Ross
, who had quite a run of his own. He was the replacement for the runaway Rascal Johnny Puleo
, who eventually inherited the franchise. And indeed Leo Diamond
and Larry Murad
of the Harmonicats
were Minevitch alumni.
It is interesting as well to note that the Harmonica Madness and Doo Wop were both dyi phenomena that had their origins in the 1942-1944 Musicians Strike
known as the Petrillo Ban
, which was also the nail in the coffin of the Big Band era. Harmonicas were not considered musical instruments while harmony groups could record accapella with vocal lines reproducing big band horn lines while the big bands sat by. Between the ban and the introduction of Juke Boxes, touring big bands were doomed.
Oh, and PS. Always In My Heart
was the theme song of the movie of the same name, a movie in which Borrah Minnevitch and his Harmonica Rascals provided comic relief and the song was nominated for an Oscar in 1942. White Christmas
won. And Dean Martin covered both in his time.