From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Threlkeld, Buford aka "Whistler"

(born: 1893  -  died: 1935) 

Buford Threlkeld, born in Eminence, KY, was a guitarist, nose-whistle player, and singer. He moved to Louisville, KY around 1915 and formed a jug band that played for all types of occasions. It was also in Louisville that he began playing the nose whistle. The jug band, which cut a record in 1924, is thought to be the first jug band to be recorded.

A few years before his death, Threlkeld left Louisville for New York. Buford Threlkeld was in Manhattan, NY when he died from tuberculosis on September 1, 1935 [sources: New York Death Index (in Ancestry); and Find A Grave]. He is buried in City Cemetery at Hart Island, New York.

For more see "Whistler" in Oxford Music Online (database); "Foldin' Bed," by Whistler and His Jug Band, on YouTube; "Whistler's Jug Band" in The Red Hot Jazz Archive at; and additional information and images at Buford "Whistler" Threlkeld at Find A Grave.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Henry County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Jefferson County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Eminence, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Louisville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Oxford Music Online (database)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Tite, B. D.
NKAA Entry: Thompson, Rudolph

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Threlkeld, Buford aka "Whistler",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 21, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-12-16 21:02:17