An uncle gave Paul a harmonica when he was 12, however he didn’t discover ways to benefit from it till sooner or later, in his after-school job delivering groceries, a buyer who simply occurred to be a blues musician overheard him attempting to play “Red River Valley” and proceeded to show him the ropes.
By 15 he was enjoying in Black golf equipment in Brooklyn and had turn into a part of a community of musicians in that scene. He was 17 when he was launched to Mr. Waters one night time after a Waters present on the Apollo; three years later, when Mr. Waters returned for a gig in New York City and was in need of a harmonica participant, he invited Mr. Oscher to take a seat in. At the top of the present, Mr. Waters supplied him a job.
For a time Mr. Oscher lived within the basement of Mr. Waters’ Chicago home, sharing the area with Otis Spann, the famous Chicago blues pianist and member of Mr. Waters’s band. Mr. Oscher later mentioned that he had realized his blues timing from Mr. Spann.
He toured with the band all through Europe and the United States, typically clad like his bandmates in a crimson brocade Nehru jacket. (Mr. Waters wore a black go well with.) When they hit the segregated South, he was usually not allowed to remain in the identical resort as his bandmates, and he remembered how the group fell silent sooner or later on the highway as they handed an indication declaring, “You Are Entering Klan County.”
Mr. Oscher left the band within the early 1970s to pursue a solo profession again house in New York City. Over the years he carried out with Eric Clapton, Levon Helm, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker and lots of others.
In addition to the harmonica, he performed the piano and the guitar, typically all on the identical time — his harmonica in a neck rack, his guitar on his lap and one hand on the keyboard. He additionally performed the accordion and the vibraphone.
In the late 1990s, Mr. Oscher was enjoying at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge in Brooklyn when he met Suzan-Lori Parks, the playwright and writer, and he or she requested him to show her to play harmonica. They married in 2001 and parted amicably in 2008, later divorcing however remaining pals. Mr. Oscher had no rapid survivors.