Brother Bones Vintage Records45 and 78 rpm recordings
Each disc in VERY GOOD to MINT condition and guaranteed to play without pops or skipping
Welcome to our growing collection of vintage recordings by Freeman "Brother Bones" Davis
The greatest legacy of Freeman 'Brother Bones' Davis is his 1948 recording of Sweet Georgia Brown. The tune was adopted in 1952 by the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team as their official theme song. This version "is probably in the top ten most listened to recordings in history," says Steve Wixson, editor of the Rhythm Bones Player.
"According to Tempo Records," reports Steve Wixson in the Rhythm Bones Player (2002 vol 4, no 3), "Freeman was discovered by their president in a Chinese restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Tempo Records first approached another bones player, Ted Goon, known as Mr. Goon-Bones, but Ted had a conflict at the time. Before Ted got his conflict resolved, Tempo discovered Freeman and his first hit record hit the airwaves." (Ted Goon died in 2003 at the age of 92. Ted was an Honorary member of the Rhythm Bones Society and lived in California just a few miles from the home of Freeman Davis.)
The Online Guide to Whistling Records lists 27 tunes recorded by Brother Bones on the Tempo and Theme record labels.
Tempo record label
Sweet Georgia Brown/Brother Bones interviews The Harlem Globetrotters
I Know That You Know/Red Wing
Sweet Georgia Brown/Margie
Jingle-Jangle-Jingle/The World is Waiting for the Sunrise
Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue/Ida
San/Listen to the Mockingbird
Theme record label
In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town/Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Poor Butterfly/How Am I to Know
Me and My Shadow/Lou-Easy-An-I-A
Also in our vintage collection, while they last, are a number of Harlem Globetrotters branded labels produced "by special arrangement" with Tempo Records.
Harlem Globetrotters logo branded label
Sweet Georgia Brown/Harlem Globetrotters March
Sweet Georgia Brown/Harlem Globetrotters March
Sweet Georgia Brown/Black Eyed Susan Brown
Sweet Georgia Brown/Poor Butterfly
We only sell vintage records from VERY GOOD to MINT condition. Most discs are shipped in a generic vintage slip cover. Some of the 45 rpm discs ship with a vintage Harlem Globetrotters branded slip cover.
Grading is based on visual inspection only. I have not attempted to play any of these recordings. The actual disc you get will rate anywhere from VERY GOOD to MINT condition. (Most clock in at EXCELLENT or NEAR-MINT.) Below is the grading scale for comparison purposes:
MINT: Appears unplayed
NEAR-MINT: No visible flaws
EXCELLENT: Light wear; a previous owner took good care
VERY GOOD: Groove wear, light scratches/scuffs
GOOD: Plays without skipping
FAIR: Scuffed, scratched, heavily abused
Guaranteed To Play Without Pops or Skipping
These vintage records are guaranteed to meet your satisfaction. If you are not happy with the record just return it safely back to me. I will exchange the record or refund your full purchase price, including the cost of shipping the record to you.
- Authentic Vintage Audio Disc: Great to play or display
- Condition: Guaranteed to play without pops or skips
- Grading: Very Good to Mint condition
- Recording type: Audio Disc
- Speed: 45 rpm or 78 rpm
- Composition: Vinyl, or whatever they made records from back then
- Label: Tempo, Theme, or Harlem Globetrotters brand
The Inside Story...:
Who is Brother Bones?
Freeman 'Brother Bones' Davis was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1902.
As a kid, Freeman made his own musical bones from cow ribs he got down at the slaughterhouse. His favorite bones included ivory, rosewood, ebony—and knives.
Freeman Davis became known as Whistling Sam in Long Beach, California. That's where he worked his shoeshine stand in a barber shop vestibule. Folks say he would tap dance and pop his shoeshine rag to popular tunes.
And he could draw a crowd! Word has it he could whistle so loud that people in cars outside the barber shop would stop to listen—at least until the police came by to clear the traffic jam.
Brother Bones lived most of his years in Long Beach. But it all started back in Montgomery when he was just a little boy who listened to his mother whistle. "My mother used to whistle all the time...she was just a happy person," Brother Bones once explained to a newspaper reporter.
Although he never achieved great fame, Brother Bones was a gifted entertainer who performed at prominent venues including Carnegie Hall and The Ed Sullivan Show. He played on stage with eminent musicians including Woody Herman, Teddy Buckener, Jimmy Lunsford, and Russ Morgan.
Brother Bones served as a consultant to Bing Crosby in Frank Capra's Riding High (1950) where Bing plays dinner knives—bones style. And he even appeared in two feature films: Yes Sir, Mr. Bones (1951) with Scatman Crothers, and Pot O' Gold (1941) as a jail chef playing traditional spoons, starring James Stewart.
Recorded One of the Most Listened To Recordings in History
The greatest legacy of Brother Bones is his 1948 recording of Sweet Georgia Brown.
The tune was adopted in 1952 by the Harlem Globetrotters basketball
team as their official theme song. This version "is probably in the top ten most listened to recordings in history," reported Steve Wixson, editor of the Rhythm Bones Player.
Greatest Whistling Bones Player
Brother Bones died in 1974 at the age of 71. The Rhythm Bones Society offered a tribute to Freeman Davis at Bones Fest VI in 2002, which honored the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Noted for playing four bones in each hand, Freeman 'Brother Bones' Davis is admired among the world community of bone players as a consummate entertainer who developed into the greatest whistling bones player of all time.
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