Brother Bones / Oct 4, 1902 - June 14, 1974

If you ever wondered who that was whistling that tune for the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team theme song, well it's Freeman Davis aka Brother Bones, who was born today in 1902.

A fairly obscure guy, he was from Montgomery AL and worked as a shoeshine boy before he recorded an animal bones & whistling version of the "Sweet Georgia Brown" standard in 1949, which is the version I grew up loving in relation to the 'Trotters. (Notably, the tune also utilizes the Novachord, a very early synthesizer). Brother's tune "Black Eyed Susan Brown" was sampled by De La Soul ("Pease Porridge").

He was also known in Montgomery as "Whistlin' Sam". He whistled, tap-danced, played four bones in each hand and also played with knives. He recorded a few joints, appeared in a few flicks and sang at Carnegie Hall and on The Ed Sullivan Show.

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