Conversations with Pat Missin:
“Rythm without the first h”
The harmonica box is quite theatrical. Somehow someone misspelled rhythm of all words, on the harp AND the box. But Mr. Minevitch made a very comfortable harp and told me where to rest my thumb. It does have extra fine tonal results.
This one almost drove me crazy. I knew I had one somewhere, but I
didn’t recall if it was spelled correctly or not. We moved last year
and are possibly moving again, so most of my stuff is still in boxes.
I finally found it, but I had to wade through a ton of old harps to
get to it. I’m pleased I did, though, as it’s a really nice playing
Anyway, mine is lacking the box, but is correctly spelled. There were a whole range of harmonicas made with this name in the 1930s – single reed diatonics, tremolos and an assortment of octaves, some with the misspelling, some correctly spelled. I don’t know which is more common. You may know that the Hohner Beatles harmonica with the mixed up names is more common that the correct one.
These were made in the mid-1930s, most likely by Hugo Rauner, even though Minevitch had been a prominent Hohner endorsee. Rauner
(not to be confused with F.A. Rauner, another Klingenthal based
harmonica maker) was a relatively short lived company originally based
in Klingenthal, but relocating to West Germany some time around WWII.
They are presumed of be the maker of these Minevitch instruments, as
they also used the “index finger here” markers on the covers of some
of their instruments.
As well as the correct spelling of “rhythm”, the covers on mine are
quite different. The bottom cover makes no promise of superior musical
results, or tonal effects, just a claim that these instruments are
used exclusively by him and the Rascals. The rest of the wording is
the same, but in a different style.
omg, there are TWO Rauners? I WAS confused, no wonder. I have harps from both.Those index finger markers are unusual. never seen them before.Who is Boris Minevitch if the harp was made by Rauner, and what does Boris have to do with the Rascals who I am assuming are the crew of players on the box?
Two Rauners, both from Klingenthal, but I don’t know what theirrelationship was. F.A. Rauner one claimed to have the second largestharmonica factory in the world and started out in the mid-1800s. Hugo Rauner did not pop up until just before WWII, then seems to have vanished soon after the war. I don’t really know much else about him.
Minevitch was a big stage and radio star in the 30s and his Harmonica Rascals was a comedy/musical group he put together. I have a little about him on this page:
If you search on his name in YouTube you’ll find a bunch of clips of him and the Rascals.