[REMOVE ADS]




Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    43,221
    Rep Power
    585

    The Harmonica on the Temptations "Ball of Confusion"

    I just listened to "Ball of Confusion" after a very long time and I was wondering......who's playing the harmonica on it? Anyone know?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,486
    Rep Power
    254
    When the song first came out and was being played a lot on the radio, I remember a NYC dee-jay saying that it was Stevie Wonder

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    13,076
    Rep Power
    100
    Could very well have been Mike Campbell. He did a lot of harp work with Norman.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    43,221
    Rep Power
    585
    Thanks Ralph and Milven . Whoever it was........he was tearing it up!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    7,375
    Rep Power
    203
    In this SDF link, search for:
    ball of confusion

    It specifies Mike Campbell on harmonica:

    http://soulfuldetroit.com/archives/1...tml?1054389084

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    43,221
    Rep Power
    585
    Thanks Methuselah and Ralph what an incredible memory you have !!

  7. #7
    thomas96 Guest
    I don't remember the source but I remember it being Stevie Wonder. And I recall my source being good enough to convince me even still [[against Ray and Ralph's memories sorry) that it is him. Maybe not, and this would be news to me, but I guess it doesn't really sound like his style. Wow. Thanks Marv for bringing this up. Now I'm not really sure who it is, but still leaning towards Stevie. Hopefully I can remember the source of that info, whether it was actually legitimate or not.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,917
    Rep Power
    227
    I've thought since the first time I heard Ball Of Confusion that the harmonica on it was
    definitely NOT Stevie Wonder. I've been a fan of not only Stevie's music but particularly
    his harmonica evolution from the time he was Little Stevie through his teen years and into
    his adulthood. I really dug his appreciation of blues harpists styles and was quite impressed
    with his graduation from diatonic to chromatic harmonica on which I believe he's the only
    real peer of the jazz musician Toots Thielman [[sic- I can't spell his name right now). Stevie
    has always broken many of the accepted "rules" of harmonica playing and his kissing into
    his harp on Girl Blue knocked me the fonk out. Anyway, I've always thought the harmonica
    on Ball was either Ted Lucas or Joe Messina. Meth says it's Mike Campbell, okay, maybe it is
    but that link is too cluttered for me to find a confirmation right now...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    13,076
    Rep Power
    100
    How about I call Mike Campbell and ask him.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    43,221
    Rep Power
    585
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    How about I call Mike Campbell and ask him.
    Ralph, that would be awesome!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    13,076
    Rep Power
    100
    I called Mike but he was out. I left a message.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    43,221
    Rep Power
    585
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    I called Mike but he was out. I left a message.
    Thank you Ralph. I'm now getting more and more anxious to hear who did the harmonica work on that recording.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    13,076
    Rep Power
    100
    Just got off the phone with Mike. Confirmed. It was he that played on the record. He told me that the song was in a strange key not really suited for the harmonica, but he pulled it off.

    I am happy to tell you guys that Mike has agreed to come on the forum to talk with us. He has a wealth of Motown, Babbitt, etc etc stories that are great. Stay tuned. I'm putting his thread on the main forum.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    43,221
    Rep Power
    585
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    Just got off the phone with Mike. Confirmed. It was he that played on the record. He told me that the song was in a strange key not really suited for the harmonica, but he pulled it off.

    I am happy to tell you guys that Mike has agreed to come on the forum to talk with us. He has a wealth of Motown, Babbitt, etc etc stories that are great. Stay tuned. I'm putting his thread on the main forum.
    Excellent! Also tell him that his harmonica piece on that song is ICONIC! Thank you Ralph, I look forward to Mike joining us.

    Marv

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    13,076
    Rep Power
    100
    You tell him, Marv. I just set up his thread on the main forum.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    9,753
    Rep Power
    250
    I didn't think that was Stevie. His harmonica playing is so unique, you'd know if it was him. So even I knew it wasn't Stevie.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    5,917
    Rep Power
    227
    Quote Originally Posted by ralpht View Post
    Just got off the phone with Mike. Confirmed. It was he that played on the record. He told me that the song was in a strange key not really suited for the harmonica, but he pulled it off.

    I am happy to tell you guys that Mike has agreed to come on the forum to talk with us. He has a wealth of Motown, Babbitt, etc etc stories that are great. Stay tuned. I'm putting his thread on the main forum.
    Thanks, Ralph, I'll look forward to that. Dang, I still miss Babbitt. Good idea to put Mike's
    thread on the main forum,too. For obvious reasons....

    midnightman, Stevie played harmonica like it was a soprano sax. I'd love to see a written or
    even youtube topic focus on just his playing...

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    13,076
    Rep Power
    100
    WE all miss Babbitt, Splank. Mike has some great Babbitt stories.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    457
    Rep Power
    157
    I'm writing a university dissertation on Ball of Confusion and looking to compile a musician list for the song. From The Complete Motown Singles 1970 essays, I see there was a 'horns and added instrumentation' recording session on April 14, 1970.
    Would anybody have information on who played that date? Scanning the Motown forum site I believe Michael Campbell played Harmonica and Ray Monette played guitar.
    Who would have played the horns?
    I've found the musicians from the early recording sessions from April 6-13, 1970 but nothing on this last one.
    I'm also guessing that due to the improvised nature of the first sessions, Paul Riser would not have arranged the song.
    Thanks for any assistance that can be given.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

[REMOVE ADS]

Ralph Terrana
MODERATOR

Welcome to Soulful Detroit! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
Soulful Detroit is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to Soulful Detroit. [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.