NEW YORK (AP) — Don Brooks, a studio musician who played the harmonica with Harry Belafonte, Ringo Starr, the Bee Gees and Yoko Ono's band, died Wednesday of leukemia. He was 53.

Brooks, who was raised in Texas, first picked up the harmonica after hearing an album by bluesman Sonny Terry. He played in Dallas coffee shops in the 1960s and moved to New York in 1967, joining a Greenwich Village folk scene that included David Bromberg and John Hammond Jr.

In 1973, he joined singer Waylon Jennings' band and helped create the sound known as outlaw country music.

Brooks recorded with Belafonte, Starr, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Carly Simon, Diana Ross and Bette Midler, among others. He also played with groups such as the Bee Gees, the Talking Heads and Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band.

He was a musician on Broadway in "Big River" (1985) and "The Gospel at Colonus" (1988), and he worked on the soundtrack for the TV documentary "The Civil War."