WHISTLING RUFUS by Kerry Mills (arr. Essex)

This is a Classic Banjo standard. It was widely recorded by the professional players and was popular with amateur ensembles of all types. Most Brits of my ag...

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Comment by thereallyniceman on September 1, 2013 at 17:47

Ahhh,  good Ole Whistlin' Rufus.

When I was learning to play I played this piece over and over and over and.....  until the neighbours knew it perfectly.

I miss all of them, but they all moved away soon after I took up the banjo.  Pity really, as I know that they enjoyed listening to me play.   ;-)

If you would like to try this Classic of Classic Banjo, I recorded a lesson for the first section here:

WHISTING RUFUS 1ST SECTION

and really must get round to recording the rest, that is if anyone wants to see my way to play it!

Somehow I don't associate the tarboosh with the  Cakewalks of the Deep South.. but what do I know??    ;-))

Comment by Ray Jones on September 3, 2013 at 0:31

Now that really is Whistling Rufez!!

Comment by Jody Stecher on September 3, 2013 at 0:34

Ray, you hit the Nile on the head.

Comment by thereallyniceman on September 3, 2013 at 18:29

All this jollity :-)  But behind it lies Tony's great talent.

 Tony, how long have you been playing? You said that you were taught by Alf Wood, I don't know much about him, apart from seeing his name in old BMG mags. Where did he learn to play... any history that you would like to share??

Comment by Richard William Ineson on September 5, 2013 at 6:31

I think that it would be more likely to be Alf Lane, unless Tony is a lot older then we think that he is. One thing that I remember about Alf Lane is that he worked at the Metropolitan Music Hall and met Mays and Hunter there. He said that M&H often played for the staff, very impressive stuff, artificial harmonics etc. The pit orchestra challenged Hunter to play their instruments, which he did, all note perfect. 

Comment by thereallyniceman on September 5, 2013 at 7:23

Yes Richard, my mistake!  Alf Lane.  My memory is not what it was :-)

@Ray Jones:    Whistling Rufez ?    .... groan ;-)

Comment by TONY BRYAN on September 5, 2013 at 7:48
Richard is, of course, right. Alfred w. Lane it was. I think the point of the Hunter story was that the pit musicians had criticised him for not playing a 'proper' musical instrument, and his response was to sight read all their parts and play them faultlessly on the banjo. You all might be able to help with some Alf Lane research: when the Central Line was opened in London in 1900 it charged tuppence a ticket and was known as the Tuppenny Tube. To help promote the line, the company formed the Tuppenny Tube Minstrels. Alf was a member of that group. London Transport archives are strangely silent on this aspect of their history. Can anyone else fill in some of the blanks?
Comment by Steve Harrison on September 8, 2013 at 8:56

As my wife keeps telling me 'the old ones are the best'...and she wasn't referring just to the music! We must all keep going and show some of these younguns how the banjo should be played. A great rendition of an all time favourite...Steve.

Comment by TONY BRYAN on September 8, 2013 at 19:26
You are too kind. Another favourite coming up - I hope you like that one too.
Comment by TONY BRYAN on September 23, 2013 at 19:04
In case you were wondering: this is a Classic Banjo standard. It was widely recorded by the professional players and was popular with amateur ensembles of all types. Most Brits of my age recognise it immediately as having been popularly recorded by Chris Barber's Jazz Band in the late fifties.

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