You’re listening to Larry Adler, one of the great masters of the harmonica. But you wouldn’t have said “harmonica” around Adler, not without getting a dirty look. He would call the instrument a mouth organ his whole career, and insist that everyone around him did as well. In fairness, he does make it sound more appropriate for concert halls than campfires. Here he is with Ravel’s Bolero.
Turns out the Adler family knew their way around the harmon…. excuse me, mouth organ. Larry’s kid brother Jerry had a successful performing career, especially in the talking pictures. You might have heard him harping away in typical guy films like Shane, High Noon and…Mary Poppins.