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Orange Blossom Special (Slower) - Ray Steelman

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Orange Blossom Special (Slower Version) - Ray Steelman
Bio:
In 1979, Ray walked into the Longbranch Saloon, a small bar in Huntsville, Alabama. There was a solo artist there singing Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings." Ray pulled out his Marine Band harmonica and climbed on to the stage. The rest is history. After playing backup harmonica on “Silver Wings,” Ray became a fixture on the entertainment scene from that point on from Nashville to Birmingham to Atlanta. Ray played seven days a week for many, many years and went on the be a regular in the recording studios of north Alabama. One year, he simultaneously held four state harmonica championship titles and was actually eventually banned from entering some of the amateur contests. Ray wrote three harmonica instruction books and made 15 guest appearances at Opryland theme park in Nashville and numerous appearances at Looney's Entertainment Park, Huntsville Alabama’s Panoply and numerous performing Arts Festivals, bars, honky-tonks, parties, and beer joints, having played as far away as Paris. Ray has done much session work in many recording studios from Nashville to North Alabama. Ray mostly played with artists on their way up or their way down. Ray made countless TV appearances playing his harmonicas and for four years was co-host on the Jamie Cooper Show on WAFF TV, the North Alabama NBC affiliate.

Currently: Retired businessman
Born: Room 203 of Lincoln County, TN hospital, 05/07/1946
Education: Middle Tennessee State (BS & MA), AL A&M, UK
Life Experiences: 17 yrs. high school teacher, administrator, coach
Song Writer: Yes, a few are on You Tube and other internet locations.
Inspiration: Watching the curious turns on life’s road and the people come and go during my lifetime…and Tom T. Hall, Vern Gosdin and Max D. Barnes
Health: Excellent, 5 miles a day, weights daily
Ventures: Owned and operated six businesses in AL & TN
Harmonica: Plays daily as street and special event performer
Stage Name: The Bama Jammer
Diatonics: Mainly Huang Silvertones (1st choice), Hohner Special 20’s
Chromatic: Some, various types
Echo Harps: Yes, various types
Vest Pocket Harps: Yes, all keys
Music Style: A blend of everything from movie themes, Celtic, Country, Delta Blues, Classical, Pop, Rock and Gospel
Personal Style: Clean-cut white boy harmonica (no tattoos, body piercings, nose rings, bad jokes, bad attitudes or snot-slinging hard-luck stories)
Biggest Influences: Charlie McCoy, Terry McMillan, Peter Madcat Ruth, Marcello Batista, Buddy Green, Little Walter, Lonnie Glosson, Jimmy Riddle, DeFord Bailey and a touch of Magic Dick
Music Blend: Steals licks from all of the above
Other Instruments: Plays a little banjo
Other: IFR general aviation pilot with all certifications, author, full-time grandpa
Vocals: Only when forced to… primarily as demo artist
Family: Very happily married, three kids, four grandchildren. Life is Good.
Venues: On street corners everywhere
Other Family Artists: Whitney Dean (son-in-law) of The Sweeplings
Advice to Aspiring Harmonica Players: 50 years of practice
Contact: Very private, hard to reach, internet contact only