“… you gotta say (that) Little Walter invented the blues harmonica"
- No one had that sound before him. No one could make the thing cry like a baby and moan like a woman.
- No one could put pain into the harp and have it come out so pretty.
- No one understood that the harmonica — just as much as a trumpet, a trombone, or a saxophone — could have a voice that would drop you in your tracks, where all you could say was “Lord, have mercy.”
Buddy Guy, from “When I Left Home”
Little Walter scored 14 top ten hits between 1952 - 1958, and was the best blues artist produced by the post war Chicago blues movement. In 2008, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Most recently, in 2013, he was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame at the first Annual Little Walter Festival in Alexandria, Louisiana.
To this day, to mention Little Walter's name brings a respect that is reserved for the world's geatest musicians.
Remembering Little Walter
Hi, My name is Marion Diaz Reacco. I'm that little girl in the picture with Little Walter. That was a long time ago and I have some memories of my father, especially when he used to put me up on a stool and make me listen to him practice his harmonica over and over again. I didn't get a lot of time to spend with him, and now that I am older I want to remember him in a different way.
The Little Walter Foundation is my way of getting to know my father. Through the Foundation, I'll be able to preserve my father's legacy as a major influence on the Chicago Blues. I hope to extend his techniques through music education using musicians who have embraced his style and use it to this day. With your help we can support other blues musicians to continue their creative efforts and extend the blues music genre itself.
There are so many stories that I don't know. So many of you have been touched by my father. Share in those stories, let me know how my father made an impact on your life! Your contribution to the Little Walter Foundation through your recollections, your photos, your stories and your financial support will truly be a gift to me, my Dad and Chicago Blues fans everywhere!
We hope that 2014 will be the "Year of Little Walter", there are many exciting things happening, from the nomination of "Remembering Little Walter" for a Grammy nomination to the Second Annual Little Walter Music Festival in Alexandria on May 24, 2014, new CD's with Little Walter songs, and Jason Brown's selection of "Juke" for his skating short program, it is clear that my Dad's effect is still going strong over almost 50 years later. Jason, I'll be watching you, I'll see you all the way to the top!
Love, Marion Diaz Reacco
2015 Chicago Blues Festival
"Thank you to all of the Little Walter fans that came by the booth to say hello! Your contributions, your offers of support and your personal Little Walter recollections were wonderful!"
Thank you from the Little Walter Foundation
There are so many thank you's to say now the 2015 LWMF is over.
A HUGE thank you to Sherry Ellington, Executive Director of the Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and her staff and the others who made up the Festival Committee who have worked so hard over the past year to pull everything together. Too many names to name, but thank you to everyone.
Thank you to all of the musicians who came to join us in the Festival and tribute. Thank you to the soldiers who gave us a stirring Memorial Day salute for the soldiers who have given so much for our country.
The weather wasn't the most cooperative but we hope to do next year's festival in the sun.
Check out Facebook page for some memorable moments and please post some of your own.
Thanks to all of the Jacobs who came up to me to say hello. I want to meet more of you!
DId you have fun this year? Make sure to tell your friends and neighbors to save the date! See you all next year! Marion
An All Star Cast Celebrates Little Walter's Birthday
Not enough room in one picture to show all of the artist who came to celebrate Little Walter's birthday. Stay tuned for the complete list and more photos. Thanks to Roman Sobus for this photo. Look on Facebook for others too!
The Little Walter Foundation supports the completion of Blue Midnight
A labor of love since 1991, Mike Fritz, a Boston based film maker and musician, embarked on a mission to document the Little Walter story for eternity. The film has been funded by Mike personally and partially funded with a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.
We learned that more help was needed to complete this production. The LWF is stepping up to the plate to make sure it gets done. As we put our together our strategy to accomplish this goal, you can help spread the word that the project is back on track!
Click to see the trailer from the Blue Midnight. In March 2008, parts of the unreleased film were used during Little Walter's induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame
If you are interesting in supporting "Blue Midnight", use your credit card, or mail donations to the address below!
Little Walter around the World
Chicago Blues is alive all over the world! Nacomi Tanaka and her band reached out to us with a Little Walter Tribute all the way from Kobe, Japan. (Very cool shirts, Nacomi) Check out Crazy Mixed Up World and Juke below, as well as their other Little Walter tunes on You Tube. Antonio Augusto Bittencourt from Brazil posted one on our Facebook page!
We are looking at ideas on how to interact with fans all over the world, so send us your ideas! A special thanks to Nacomi, her band members, Yasuo Ochiai, Hideki Takano, Akinori Fujinami, Sweet Harp Kimura (on the harp of course!) and also to Antonio!