Take a walk down any busy thoroughfare, anywhere in the world, and it won't be long until you come across somebody singing for their supper; busking (from the Spanish buscar - to seek or to wander) has been around since Medieval minstrels and jongleurs would sing and dance in European city squares and passers by might, if they were any good, throw coins at them. Then, as now, I'm sure busking can be very lucrative; some of my best friends are buskers and if you have the right location location location, and can carry a tune, you should be all set fair.
That said, my favourite busker of all time couldn't carry a tune in a bucket. Xylophone Man would play his trade in Nottingham city centre in the late 80s and 90s playing nothing more than a child's toy xylophone: hitting random notes in an equally random fashion was the extent of his repertoire, but that never stopped his hat from filling up with high denomination coins of the realm. When he died in 2004 it was said that his xylophone was donated to the short lived Nottingham Hard Rock Cafe, just around the corner from his pitch, where it hung on a wall next to one of Pete Townshend's wrecked guitars.
I was reminded of Xylophone Man recently as I've just started covering this endearing and strangely addictive tune by Neil Diamond. It's got a lovely xylophone refrain throughout that, I'm sure, Xylophone Man would have made a good fist of.