Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats were an American harmonica-based group. The band was founded in 1947; by 2009, it was no longer performing. Originally they were named The Harmonica Madcaps and the group consisted of Jerry Murad (chromatic lead harmonica), Bob Hadamik (bass harmonica), Pete Pedersen (chromatic harmonica), and Al Fiore, (chord harmonica). They reformed later as a trio with Murad, Fiore, and bass harmonica player Don Les.
Pedersen and Gail Wallace remained contributors to the group throughout its existence, working on arrangements and occasionally recording.
Jerry Murad (chromatic harmonica), was an Armenian born in Istanbul, Turkey who moved to America at the age of 2. He played diatonic harmonicas at first, and took up chromatic soon after. Murad played Hohner 270s and 64s, as well as the Musette, a harmonica made especially for him that replicates the sound qualities of a French accordion. It is featured on their 1960s recording of “Parisienne Fantasy”. Murad also played the Hohner Polyphonia (a type of orchestral melodic harmonica).
Don Les (bass harmonica) was born in Chicago, and was blind at birth. He was able to see again at the age of twelve after a successful surgery. At one point, he formed his own version of the Harmonicats. The Don Les Harmonicats, which featured Mildred Mulcay (of the harmonica duo the Mulcays) and Lenny Leavitt. They released a Christmas album entitled Christmas with the Don Les Harmonicats.
Al Fiore (chord harmonica), was born in Chicago and started experimenting with chord harmonicas at the age of 13. Fiore played the rare pre-war Hohner Chord harmonica. He recorded the band’s No. 1 hit, Peg o’ My Heart on this harmonica. (by wikipedia)
Or, in their own words:
And here´s an album with popular Latin Music tunes:
Just listen to the legendary magic of Jerry Murad and his fabulous Harmonicats – you won’t have heard anything like it! It´s a real unique sound !
Al Fiore (harmonica 24″ chord)
Don Les (bass harmonica)
Jerry Murad (harmonica)
unknown bass player and drummer
01. Guadalajara (Guizar) 2.23
02. The Peanut Vendor (El Manisero) (Simons) 2.14
03. España Cañi (Marrquina) 2.47
04. La Golondrina (Serradell) 3.14
05. Siboney (Lecuona) 2.45
06. Adios Muchachos (Sanders) 2.40
07. Adios (Madriguera) 1.55
08. Les Filles De Cadix (The Maids Of Cadiz) (Delibes) 2.15
09. La Virgen De La Macarena (Monterde/Calero) 3.04
10. La Cumparsita (Rodrigues) 2.40
11. Mexican Hat Dance (Particheis) 3.13
12. Granada (Lara) 3.08