Back in the 1970s, somebody found a Harmonica Kid record and decided, because the artist had a voice that was somewhat similar to Link Davis's, that it must be Link Davis under a pseudonym. Since that time, the accumulated evidence has exploded this myth, but of course the record collecting community is more immune to self-correction than a third world dictatorship, and 40 years later, the Harmonica Kid is still routinely identified as Link Davis.
"The Harmonica Kid" was actually the nom de disque for a man named Smith Spadachene (1912-1983). It appears Smith was the son of Italian immigrants who settled in Grimes County, Texas, during the late 1800s. He served in the military during WWII and was probably in Houston by 1949, when he made his debut on Gold Star. A long series of singles of varying quality on Nucraft (the same label that produced Solid Jackson Hipsters) followed, but these didn't sell. In 1964 he made the world's worst Beatles tribute record ("Beatle Twist"), and finally the Kid concluded his career with a strange commentary on a current economic crisis ("Inflation").
Paul Brown of the Bar X Cowboys recorded one of Spadachene's songs, and was the only person I've ever talked to who remembered the Harmonica Kid. Paul said that the Kid worked in his family's grocery store in the Heights area of Houston, and wrote songs for a hobby. He didn't think that the Kid actually played live gigs. The record business being what it is, even hobbyists and amateurs get lucky once in a while, and Spadachene's moment of glory came in 1954 when Skeets McDonald had a minor hit on Capitol with one of his songs, "I Love You, Mama Mia."
Below: Billboard, April 23, 1955.
"Coo-Coo-Coo" b/w "Jole-Blon," from 1955, is the Harmonica Kid's attempt at Cajun music, and is a pretty fun record. No harmonica is present, but the fiddle playing is quite good, and it's possible that Link Davis (who had a single on this label around the same time) agreed to sit in on this session. Billboard gave it a lukewarm review, stating that "despite poor recording, (it) could see some territorial action." The territory was not as impressed.
Below: Billboard, Sept. 6, 1952.
THE HARMONICA KID DISCOGRAPHY
Gold Star 712 (c. 1949) SMITH SPADACHENE Moving On Spanish Two-Step
Nucraft 104 (1952) 102 RANCH BOYS ACA 2149 OPS Blues (Smitty the Harmonica Kid) v: Harmonica Kid ACA 2150 I Love You Mama Mia (Smitty the Harmonica Kid) v: Harmonica Kid
Nucraft 107 (1952) BB ad: Sept. 6, 1952 STRING BAND (A)ACA 2281 I'll Keep on Crying (Smith Spadachene) v: Harmonica Kid (B)ACA 2282 Take a Trip with Me (Smith Spadachene) v: Harmonica Kid
Note: "I'll Keep on Crying" listed in ACA files as "Lonesome Blues."