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Lafe Harkness
Born:  February 6, 1919
Died:  May 1, 1990
WLW Boone County Jamboree
WLW Midwestern Hayride

Lafe Harkness was known as the '...rootin'est tootin'est harmonica player to take part in the broadcast of a rural nature'. He started at WLW in 1938 before World War II set in on his career at WLW in Cincinnati, Ohio. After his stint in the service ended, he returned to WLW in 1941.

It seems that somehow while in the service, while stationed in France at first, he managed to find his way to Germany to see if the harmonica shortage was as bad as he had heard for that's where the M. Horner harmonicas were made. There was a shortage he found, but he did manage to 'liberate' five of the M. Horner super-chromatic instruments and kept on playing so he could resume his career at WLW later.

In 1947, he was heard daily on the "Top O'Morning" broadcast. He as also a regular on the "Boone County Caravan". He also appeared on the WLW "Mid-West Hayride" that was broadcast on Saturdays at 6:30pm on WLW.

Credits & Sources

  • National Hill-Billy News; January 1947; Poster Show Print Co., Huntington, WV.

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