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Vintage Goon Bones, near mint to mint
Vintage Goon Bones
Genuine vintage Goon Bones

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  • Extremely rare vintage item. Order now. When they're gone, they're gone.

  • We constantly scour the planet for these bones. If sold out, click "Email me when Back-In-Stock" link to get notified when another pair enters the inventory.

  • Pictured bones are representative sample: Your item might vary slightly from photos.

Only $74.99 Pair

Quantity in Stock:(Out of Stock)
Product Code: 100A1-23-NMM

Description Technical Specs
Vintage Goon Bones

Step back to those Fabulous Fifties and rattle a pair of genuine original GOON-BONES.

Each pair appears unused and in near mint to mint condition. Each individual bone die-stamped with original GOON-BONES white imprint.

Ted Goon (1911 - 2003)
Ted Goon Ted Goon was a legendary bones player who had seven hit records between 1949 and 1952. He sold between 40 to 50 thousand pairs of "Goon Bones" across the U.S. His son, Bob, served as shipping clerk and filled bones orders during the late 50s and early 60s. Ted died in 2003 at the age of 92.

The Birth of Goon Bones
Ted was born July 10, 1911 in western Michigan on a farm near Lake Michigan. He first saw the rattle of the bones in 1923 when he was a kid growing up on a farm in Ohio. The place was a tent at a traveling minstrel show. Like so many other young folks, he was fascinated by the bones, and with a little help from his dad, he began making and rattling them himself. "By the time I was a senior in high school," recalled Ted at age 88 during a 2000 telephone interview with Rhythm Bones Society researcher, Steve Wixson, "I had developed enough ability with it to play with the high school jazz band. And it attracted a lot of attention."

World War II came and went, and as the result of a military training injury, Ted picked up the bones again during rehab, where "a tremendous demand developed for me to sell those things to people and at a reasonable price." So he began experimenting with various woods and plastics.

From what I can tell, Goon Bones were manufactured for only around ten years, roughly the decade spanning 1950 through 1960.

Northern Wisconsin Maple
Goon Bones have been out of production since the 1960s. What are they made of? Goon Bones have been heralded for the wonderful tone they produce. But the exact wood species under that black coating has always been shrouded in mystery. An uncited news article found in Ted's scrapbook gives us these clues:

"He and his wife experimented with hundreds of materials for an improved 'bone.' Using woods from all over the world, ivories and ebonies, all of which were coated with various substances, each was electronically tested. Finally, an American wood was selected which they specially treated."

In his 2000 telephone interview with Steve Wixson, Ted privately disclosed that "I experimented with thirteen types of wood that I had made, shaped up and tested. It's maple," Ted declared, "Not oak, not rosewood, none of those harder things."

The specific species of wood has been a closely guarded secret until after Ted's passing. That is when an article appeared in a 2009 issue of the Rhythm Bones Player which revealed, for the first time in public, that Goon Bones are "made of northern Wisconsin maple which Ted found by experimenting. [That wood] produced the best recorded sound."

The Sound of Rhythm: Clean Like the Bones Can Make It
Ted Goon loved pure rhythm. "There isn't any sound in the world, I'm convinced, as the sound of rhythm when its clean like the bones can make it."

Clean Pure Rhythm is the Essence of the Whole Universe
Ted expresses the greater purpose of rhythm and bones during his interview with Steve Wixson. "I've considered the fact that rhythm - clean pure rhythm - is the essence of the whole universe. Everything in the universe is in a rhythm. Human beings, normal human beings...when he hears clean, fresh, precise, he feels it."

Goon Bones Fan Clubs and Famous Fans
At one time there were more than 30 active Goon Bones fan clubs in the U.S. And in addition to the bevy of fan clubs, Ted performed with distinguished musicians and merited this cadre of notable admirers.

Ferde Grofe
Symphony conductor and composer best known for his "Grand Canyon Suite." Ted performed in several concerts conducted by Ferde Grofe. The maestro was a dedicated Goon Bones fan who was instrumental in getting Ted admitted into the musician's union (American Federation of Musicians). When Ted was admitted to the union (around 1949) he was the only bones player in its ranks.

Del Wood
The "Queen of the Ragtime Pianists," first female million-selling recording artist, and a regular on the Grand Ole Opry. Ted recorded three records with Del:

Shanty Town/Nobody's Sweetheart Now
Waiting for the Robert E Lee/Listen to That Band
Just Because/Bile 'Dem Cabbage Down

Nelson Riddle
Eminent composer and arranger. Riddle was an acquaintance of Ted.

Steve Allen
Television personality, musician, actor, comedian, and writer. First host of The Tonight Show. Ted appeared on The Steve Allen Show with Barney Lance and Harold Fisher where they performed Tiger Rag. The applause broke the NBC decibel record.

Bill Holden
Hollywood film star with leading roles in scores of hit movies including The Towering Inferno, Casino Royale, The World of Suzie Wong, The Horse Soldiers, The Wild Bunch, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Stalag 17, Sunset Blvd., Our Town, and Golden Boy. Bill Holden was a bones player and Goon Bones fan who wanted to join Ted in the manufacture of musical bones and make a bones record together.

Ted Goon Memorabilia
Want to know more about Ted Goon? The Rhythm Bones Society has posted a webpage where you can view The Memorabilia of Ted 'Mr Goon-Bones' Goon that includes news articles, a biography, anthology of recordings, Ted's personal scrapbook, telephone interview, historic audio recordings and more.

  • Vintage Item: Genuine GOON-BONES
  • Appear Unused: Near mint to mint condition.
  • Die-stamp Brand: Original GOON-BONES white imprint.
  • Minstrel Style Design: Still popular after 150 years.

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