Whistler and His Jug Band

Category: Artist
Time period: Pre-WWII

Date nominated: Apr 9, 2010
Date inducted: Sep 1, 2013
Ratings: 18
Average rating: 4.02

Your rating: Voting members only

Edit this page

It's unclear why someone with a name like Buford Threlkeld would need a nickname, but this band leader was known for playing the nose whistle, and the rest is history.

Threlkeld moved to Louisville, KY in 1915 and apparently started his jug band shortly thereafter, making Whistler's Jug Band one of the oldest bands to be recorded. His first jug player, B.D. Tite, was a true pioneer, having started playing jug around 1900 and given lessons to Earl McDonald, while his last jug player, Rudolph Thompson, was a child prodigy, first recording at the age of 13.

Today, Whistler is probably most famous for his YouTube video of "Foldin' Bed" (also available on DVD from Yazoo records), which is the only existing video of a pre-war jug band in its prime.


No photos have been added


Name Instruments Birth Death
Willie Black Banjo
Jess Ferguson Fiddle
Rudolph Thompson a.k.a. "Jazz Lips" Jug
Buford Threlkeld a.k.a. "Whistler" Guitar, Nose Whistle
B.D. Tite Jug


Title Recorded  
Low Down Blues 04/29/27 St. Louis, MO Chords and Lyrics