"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Monday, February 26, 2007 Geese Ausbie & the "string ball"
Sweet Georgia Brown
"Brother Bones recorded one of the most instantly recognizable songs of the 20th century, yet remains a virtual unknown, overshadowed by his own hit record and the world famous basketball team that adopted it as their official theme," observes the Online Guide to Whistling Records. Listen to "Sweet Georgia Brown" and other recordings at their Brother Bones gallery.
We saw the Harlem Globetrotters this past weekend, and an entertaining show it was: the smell of cotton candy and popcorn in the arena brought back memories of long-ago trips to the circus at the old Garden.
Did you know the Globetrotters, based in Chicago for 50 years, didn't actually play a game in Harlem until 1968, or that they once beat the Lakers in a straight-up contest?
Jerry Jazz Musician, a most interesting website "devoted to jazz and American civilization," offers an interview with Ben Green, author of Spinning the Globe: The Rise, Fall, and Return to Greatness of the Harlem Globetrotters.
Here is Green on Marques Haynes:
Marques was undoubtedly the best dribbler in Globetrotters history, and I could make the case that he may have been the best ball handler in the history of basketball...[E]verything Marques Haynes did with a basketball was done spontaneously. His influence was felt by later generations of players, going all the way to Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.
On Goose Tatum:
Goose Tatum is the most fascinating character in the whole Globetrotter story. Inman Jackson was the first showman, but Goose was the guy who invented Globetrotter basketball in the way people think of them today. He came up with all the great tricks and gags, and was spontaneous as a showman in the same way Marques Haynes was as a dribbler. Everyone who played for the Globetrotters after Goose -- Meadowlark Lemon certainly included -- tried to imitate Goose. While he was the great showman of the team, in some ways he was also its most tragic figure...
And on Meadowlark Lemon:
Two things about Meadowlark came across the strongest, the first being that he really couldn't play basketball...
Interspersed throughout the interview are clips of "Sweet Georgia Brown" as performed by Ethel Waters, Benny Goodman, Red Nichols and Jack Teagarden, and many others.