I was first exposed to rhythm bones by my grandfather who won many talent contests in the 1940s and 50s. I inherited the ebony rhythm bones he used. In 2010 I met up with “Johnny Bones” in Tombstone, AZ and he told me about the Rhythm Bones Society. I now play at several jam sessions and with the Silver King Minstrels in Tombstone. We play mostly the 1800s minstrel music up to about the 1920s which was the heyday of Tombstone. I took up harmonica trying to add a little something extra to the minstrels. Playing harmonica and bones together is usually a hit. I have a great time enjoying the music and entertaining the tourists, the majority of which have never seen a rhythm bones player. Hosting Bones Fest XX this year is giving me a chance to pass on the joy I have from bones playing to others both old and young in this area of central NY. I look forward to rhythm bones players from all over the country getting a chance to see this beautiful area.
Letter to the Editor – 1012. I have attached a picture of “Johnny Bones” a street performer in the old west section of Tombstone, AZ. I got to play a couple of songs with him yesterday. He is an amazing performer and has been doing this in Tombstone for about 5 years. He is the one who told me about the Rhythm Bones Society a couple of years ago. The photographer is Dave Day of Bisbee, AZ. I thought this amazing picture would look great on your web site and got Dave’s permission to use it if you are interested. Pretty nervy of me to suggest it I know but it is such a great picture, I had to try. Gerry Hines