Born in 1945 in New London, Connecticut, Magic Dick arrived in post-war America to the Atomic Bomb, World Peace, Bebop and Rhythm & Blues. Dynamic change and growth in the arts and technology would be the hallmark of this era and by the time he was eight Dick knew that music, painting and physics would be his primary interests. The trumpet was his constant companion and served as a springboard to the harmonica in his sophomore year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts where he met J. Geils and Danny Klein and became a founding member of the J. Geils Blues Band in 1968.
Photo by Melavator
the band had moved to Boston and joined forces with Peter
Wolf, Stephen Jo Bladd and Seth Justman. In 1970 the J.
Geils Band recorded their first of nine albums for Atlantic
Records and toured incessantly, jamming with many of the
blues greats including Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Junior
Wells and James Cotton. The band developed a reputation
for 'getting crazy' and devastated audiences for fifteen
years with their high-energy style of Rhythm & Blues
and Rock & Roll. These recordings showcase Magic Dick's
innovative harmonica playing, which served as a strong distinguishing
sound for the band.
of five albums for EMI America followed culminating in the
Platinum album Freeze Frame, released in 1981, which ascended
to #1 on the Billboard album charts, spent four weeks there,
and remained on the charts for a total of 70 weeks. The
album's first single, "Centerfold," spent six
weeks at #1 in Billboard. Freeze Frame's title track followed
"Centerfold," peaking at #4.
to The J. Geils Band, Magic Dick performed as a guest artist
harmonica soloist for Patty Smyth, Debbi Harri, Full Circle,
The Del Fuegos and Ryuici Sakamota, among others. In 1992,
Magic Dick and J. Geils formed the band Bluestime featuring
Magic Dick on harmonica and vocals and J. Geils on guitar.
Dick's years of experimentation and searching for new sounds
and stylings for the harmonica cultivated a strong desire
to improve the flexibility and quality of the harmonica
so as to better fit into contemporary music yet retain the
best characteristics of harmonica sound and cultural history.
This development continues to this day in the recordings
of Bluestime on Rounder Records, which feature prototypes
of Magic Harmonicas’ expanding the role of the harp
now, and for the future. Magic Dick's intense drive to extend
and enlarge the cultural history of the harmonica is shared
in a balanced and fruitful union with Magic Harmonicas co-inventor
and partner Pierre Beauregard.
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