Monday, December 31, 2007

Kazoo Kachoo

Don't ask me why, but as I was laying in bed this morning thinking about the things I planned to do on New Year's Eve day, all of a sudden I started thinking about kazoos. How something so obscure would do a firecracker in my mind is beyond me. Mind quirk.

It's like a catchy tune that stays with you... thoughts and memories of the kazoo have continued to pop up at odd times as I've had my hot tea (2 cup morning, may have a third), eaten breakfast, cleaned up, updated web sites...

So, now I'm going to try and exorcise the returning thoughts on kazoos from my mind by writing about them and maybe it'll nag someone else and leave me alone!

Kazoos were big when I was in my early teens. I didn't know why at the time, it was just one of those crazy fads that comes and goes. Everyone it seemed had a kazoo.

I took a look on the Internet and was really surprised to find out how pervasive kazoos were and are. I rarely hear about them, or hear them, anymore.

Did you know that Jimi Hendrix used one in one of the songs on his Electric Lady album? Maybe that's what started the craze, although that album was out in 1968 and it seems the bid fad I'm thinking about was later than that. Maybe not.

Probably it was the Beatles who made them so huge. They used them in two songs on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Who knew?

Pink Floyd, The Cure, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Kinks are some other bands that have buzzed on their kazoo in some well-known songs.

Another thing I didn't know about the kazoo is that the modern version we tingled our lips with was invented in Macon, Georgia. A guy named Alabama Vest created it in the 19th century. The first one was manufactured in that same town.

The kazoo is in the "mirliton" family, a group of instruments characterized by having a vibrating membrane.

Just discovered that January 28th is National Kazoo Day! I may have to see if I can find a kazoo before then!

If you want to know more about the kazoo, here's a site with more info:

http://www.edenkazoo.com/history.php

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

1-1-08

Actually---if you really want to learn about the world's foremost professional authority and practitioner of the kazoo---the lady who wrote the book from which the blog took some of its facts---take a look at www.howtokazoo.com - the story of Ms. Barbara Stewart. You'll enter the world of a fabulous woman, a classically trained musician, who has spent more than 35 years making a great career out of this simple and easy instrument.

Read through the entire web site---and you will be impressed.

ME