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Jerry Murad and the Harmonicats


  • Jerry Murad (Born Jerry Muradian, Turkey; Died 11 May 1996, Liberty Township, Ohio)
  • Al Fiore (Born Al Fiorentino, 1923; Died 25 October 1996, Chicago, Illinois)
  • Don Les (Born Dominic Leshinski, 15 November 1914; Died 25 August 1994, Madison, Wisconsin)

Al, Jerry, & Don The Harmonicats were a trio of Jerry Murad (lead), Al Fiore (chording) and Don Les (bass). Murad and Fiore left Borrah Minevitch in 1944 to form trio with Les. They were the top-selling of all harmonica groups, with a #1 hit in 1947: "Peg O' My Heart." They benefited from reduced competition: this was during a musician's union strike, and the harmonica was not considered a musical instrument.

The Harmonicats in PerformanceThe Harmonicats recorded for Columbia through the mid-1950s, switched to Mercury for a few years, then returned to Columbia until the late 1960s. Although most of their albums featured covers of current hits and space age pop standards, their 1966 album, What New, Harmonicats?, is a rockin' powerhouse, as the trio wails on numbers such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Get Off of My Cloud."

Jerry Murad carried on with new versions of the Harmonicats until his death in 1996. He appeared numerous times in pops concerts with orchestras conducted by Richard Hayman. The two former Harmonica Rascals played duets as part of these performances. He also released a number of albums on his own label along with a line of harmonica instruction books.

Recently, Murad's son Michael unearthed a tape of his father leading the group in one of their last tours before their leader's death. Titled, "A Night in San Francisco", a DVD of this 1993 performance can be purchased through the website, www.harmonicats.com.


Recordings

  • Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Columbia CL-1556
  • Peg o' My Heart, Columbia CL-1637
  • Sentimental Serenade, Columbia CL-1757/CS8557
  • Fiesta!, Columbia CL-1863
  • Forgotten Dreams, Columbia CL-1945
  • Try a Little Tenderness, Columbia CL-2090
  • The Love Songs of Tom Jones, Columbia CL-2166
  • Harmonica Rhapsody, Columbia CL-2341
  • Harmonicats' Selected Favorites," Mercury MG20074
  • South American Nights, Mercury MG20107
  • Command Performance, Mercury MG20122
  • The Cat's Meow, Mercury MG20136
  • In the Land of Hi-Fi, Mercury MG 20362
  • Harmonicha-Cha-Cha, Mercury MG 20391
  • Selected Favorites, Mercury-Wing MGW-12133
  • Harmonica Hits, Mercur-Wing MGW-12208
  • Cats Around The Horn, Mercury-Wing MGW-12216
  • Dolls, Dolls, Dolls, Mercury-Wing MGW-12242
  • El Cid & Moon River & other movie music, Columbia CS 8553
  • Fiesta, Columbia CS 8663
  • Forgotten Dreams, Columbia CS 8745
  • The Soul of Italy, Columbia CS 8799
  • That New Gang of Mine, Columbia CS 9074
  • What's New, Harmonicats?, Columbia CS 9225
  • Greatest Hits, Columbia CS 9511
  • Greatest Hits/Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, Collectables CD
  • Original RKO Masters, Varese Saraband CD


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