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Whistler And His Jug Band

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Biography

Whistler & His Jug Band was a long-lasting and popular group that recorded for several labels from the mid-’20s through the early ’30s, and influenced many of the jug bands that followed. The group was formed in 1915 in Louisville, KY by guitarist, vocalist and whistler Buford Threlkeld, and went through occasional lineup changes over the years, but fiddler Jess Ferguson and banjo player Willie Black were steady members of Whistler & His Jug Band for over a decade. The jazz-influenced jug band first entered the recording studios in September, 1924 when they traveled to Richmond, IN to cut several sides for the Gennett label. These included “Chicago Flip” “Jail House Blues” and “I’m a Jazz Baby,” as well as songs that went unissued such as “The Vampire Woman.” The second recording trip for Whistler & His Jug Band took them to St. Louis in April, 1927. On this trip, the jug band recorded 10 songs for Okeh, including “Low Down Blues,” “The Vamps of 28” and “Pig Meat Blues.” The jug player during this session was 13 year old Rudolph Thompson, who was still with the group by the time of their next recording session in June, 1931. This time, the band got to record in their hometown of Louisville. “Hold That Tiger” and “Foldin’ Bed” are some of the songs that they recorded for Victor during this session.

Representative Songs:
“Low Down Blues,” “Jug Band Special,” “The Vamps of ‘28”

Is Also Known As:
Buford “Whistler” Thelkeld, Jess Ferguson, Willie Black

Followers:
Memphis Jug Band

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