Robert McClung (1936)

Robert McClung – Pigskin Parade (1936)

Welcome back to our crazy harmonicas series. This clip comes from the film Pigskin Parade made in 1936, which featured a young harmonica specialist called Robert McClung. Robert lived from 1920-1945.

At 16 years of age, watch Robert play a Fox Chase (mixing a galloping harmonica with the sound of baying fox hounds), use his nose to play harmonica, and demonstrate a harmonica steam train. No microphones, no amplifiers, just the amazing natural sounds of harmonica and human voice. Truly amazing

Not much information about Robert is available; we suspect more will be found, now that his crazy harmonica playing has been rediscovered.

Harmonica elephant

Nelly the Elephant packed her trunk

When we organise musical demonstrations in schools, we tell children they just need two things to play the harmonica. One is the ability to breathe in. The other is the ability to breathe out. It’s that simple.

So that’s breathe in. And breathe out. Breathe in. And breathe out. Come on, even an elephant can do it!