Tommy Reilly set the standard for playing chromatic harmonica and he was mainly responsible for the acceptance of the harmonica as a solo instrument on the classical stage. He had a prolific recording career. He was born in Canada in 1919 but spent most of his life in the UK.
Here Tommy talks about his musical life and plays some music on two BBC radio programmes – Music Weekly (Michael Oliver, 6 May, 1979), and Studio Portrait (Wilfred Parry (piano), 10 February, 1967).
Tommy’s silver chromatic harmonica was developed before the first radio programme in 1973 and after the second one in 1967.