Thaddeus‘Tad’ Goodson


Thaddeus “Tad” Goodson (1869-1957) was an African American rhythm bones player who lived in Richland County, South Carolina near the capital of Columbia. Some of the songs he played were recorded by Charles Seeger for the WPA in 1939 which I had digitally transferred by the American Folklife Center and have uploaded to YouTube ( He is immortalized in the book Tales of the Congaree which collects his fables, folklore and songs from the 1920’s. His family still has his cherished rhythm bones and sixty one years after his death, he has inspired me to pick up the bones myself. Thanks Tad!


Here are the songs that feature rhythm bones on those recordings. Please note the “n” word is found in some of these songs. I’m planning on getting a show together to showcase these songs, hence me playing rhythm bones, so some lyrics will need to be changed. Hardy Childers

That Girl I Love:

Roll Down the Line:

Slide On, Tramps:,
Bile Dem Cabbage Down:,
My True Love Treat Me So Cold:,
Ridin’ on a Humpbacked Mule:, and
I’m the Leader of High Society (Since I Got Mine):