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Thread: National Kazoo Day

  1. #1
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default National Kazoo Day



    Get out your zoomaphones, because Thursday is National Kazoo Day! There is more information at this website about this holiday:

    http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreh...y/kazooday.htm

    and many other odd annual celebrations:

    http://www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/january.htm

    Also check out http://www.kazoos.com/historye.htm

    The above image is the enormous kazoo atop the kazoo factory in Eden, New York

    National Kazoo Day
    When: Always January 28th
    People young and old love Kazoos. Kazoo Day celebrates the the joy of this musical instrument.

    Alabama Vest of Macon Georgia made the first Kazoo in the 1840's. Actually, he conceived the Kazoo, and had Thaddeus Von Clegg, a German clockmaster make it to his specifications.

    Commercial production of the Kazoo didn't occur until many years later in 1912. Manufacturing was first started by Emil Sorg in Western New York. Sorg joined up with Michael McIntyre, a Buffalo tool and die maker. Production moved to Eden, NY where the factory museum remains today. [Ed. note: See below, or go to website]

    Kazoos are easy to play. Simply hum a tune into the kazoo, and you're an expert. Kazoos can be played solo, or in groups. It plays a great tune both ways.

    What do you do on National Kazoo day? Why, play the kazoo, of course.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Origin of National Kazoo Day:

    We know when the Kazoo was invented, and by whom. We know a lot about the history of the Kazoo. But, we do not know who started National Kazoo Day.....yet. Stay, uh...tuned.

    There is no evidence to suggest that this is truly a "National" day, which requires an act of congress.

    If you have any information about this holiday, please email us.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Now, I recall back in the early 1970s, when musicians were experimenting with all kinds of instruments, someone decided to put an electric pickup on a kazoo. He put it through a wah-wah and a distortion unit, and was wowing audiences with his extraordinary device. Then one day a bit of spit dripped down the metal barrel, and the results were ... shocking! He retired on the spot - or, whenever he regained consciousness!


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.edenny.org/kazoo.html

    The Original American Kazoo Company
    The Kazoo Boutique, LLC www.edenkazoo.com
    8703 S. Main Street
    Eden, NY 14057,
    Hours: Tues - Sat
    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sun. Noon to 5:00 PM
    Adjacent Factory opened in 1916; world's sole producer of metal kazoos, museum tours
    Contact: Karen K Smith, Owner
    (716) 992-3960 (716) 992-3960 .
    The original American Kazoo Company was established in 1916 and is now the only metal kazoo factory in the world. The museum highlights history, amusing trivia, and shows step by step the way kazoos are made.

    This working museum continues to manufacture a complete line of kazoos. Believe it or not, kazoos are made the same way today as in 1916. The machines that make kazoos are the same die presses that were installed in 1907 when the building housed a sheet metal workshop. Over the years, demand for kazoos became so great that the other metal operations ceased. Today, as in the past, over 20 machines are run with one 10 horsepower motor connected with overhead jack shafts and leather belts. The factory is truly one of the few remaining working museums.

    THE ALL-AMERICAN INSTRUMENT: Although the kazoo has its roots in Africa, it has become as American as apple pie. It is the most democratic of instruments because anyone can play.

    THE BIRTH OF THE AMERICAN KAZOO: The kazoo was invented by an American named Alabama Vest and made to his specifications by a German clockmaster by the name of Thaddeus Von Clegg in Macon, Georgia back in the 1840's. A traveling salesman by the name of Emil Sorg brought the idea of manufacturing metal kazoos to Western New York in about 1912. He teamed up with Michael McIntyre, a Buffalo tool and die maker, and together they found a way to manufacture the first production kazoos. McIntyre moved to Eden, York where he went into partnership with Harry Richardson, the owner of a metal forming plant.

    KAZOO PATENTED IN 1923: McIntyre and Richardson began producing metal kazoos in 1914. McIntyre even received a patent for the kazoo in 1923. Samuel Whetzle was the key employee who later married the boss' daughter and took over the business in 1939. After running the plant for many years, Whetzle sold the company to a group of Buffalo investors. In 1985, the company was sold to Brimms Inc., a local family business run by the father son team of Robert and David Berghash. They undertook the renovation of the buildings and the machines.

    THE MUSEUM: Kazoos of all shapes and sizes are permanently displayed in the museum. Their collection chronicles the history o kazoos as well as the factory. Display cases contain several types of wooden kazoos, liquor bottle shaped kazoos that celebrated the end of prohibition, antique kazoo instruments, silver and gold kazoos, and many more. From the museum space, you can view kazoos being made on the original equipment.

    VISIT THE KAZOO CAPITAL OF THE WORLD: Museum and gift shop hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10 A.M. until 5 P.M. ; Sunday - Noon until 5 P.M. Open year round. Admission is free. For free group tours call for an appointment: (716) 992-3960 (716) 992-3960 .
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  2. #2
    Michael Culliton mculliton123's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Journeybear, i have searched everywhere and cannot find any TABS for Kazoo tunes
    Michael
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    Registered User jim_n_virginia's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Hey I own a kazoo!

    I'll have to beak it out!

  4. #4
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    They are indeed hard to find, and the notation for them is practically indecipherable!

    In additon to various standard issue forms, including a slide trombone style I've seen some homemade kazoos. My favorite is the one a friend built out of various diameter PVC pipe with bends so it looked was the same size and shape as a tenor sax! It had two or three reeds on it, and was it ever loud! I got to play it once when my jug band played on a float in a parade. Our gas-powered generator went kerphlooey, so rather than bash my mandolin to be heard, I switched to this kazoo. Wailing on "When The Saints Go Marching In" on that thing was one of my most fun musical moments.
    Last edited by journeybear; Jan-27-2010 at 10:00am.
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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    I used to have one decades ago, when I played in a celtic band. We used it in our rendition of "Johnny Cope" in stead of bagpipes we did't have.
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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    There's a lot og buzz about them out there this week. When learning a new kazoo toon it's better to hum along rather than sing it to yourself, I've heard. Is it time to wax nostalgic about kazoos? I saw Bill Geist's article on CBS Sunday Morning a while back. Lots of good stuff in it too.

    JB your avatar still makes me think more of Das Boot more than a gigantor kazoo!

    Jamie
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    Michael Culliton mculliton123's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Hey, Eric Clapton is a believer, watch this YT clip of San Francisco Bay Blues and you will believe too!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwcSM3MeI8o
    Michael
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Quote Originally Posted by JEStanek View Post
    JB your avatar still makes me think more of Das Boot more than a gigantor kazoo!
    I know! For some reason the factory's website has just two pictures - the factory (a wood frame house) that doesn't include the mega-kazoo, and the kazoo that doesn't include the factory. Context is SO important when trying to determine scale! And if they had used color instead of sepia tone, that two-color barrel would have been instantly recognizable.

    I shall continue my search for a better photo. I still have time - National Kazoo Day is tomorrow ...

    Meanwhile here's an MSNBC piece to enjoy ... http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540...70772#25370772

    Hmmm ... OK, I see the KAZOO is on top of the factory, a less impressive structure behind the museum (the wood frame house incorrectly specified above). That's probably why they didn't include it. Here's a blog with some great pics. As the third photo shows, it's pretty unimposing. I think I'll stick with my antique-y avatar after all.
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    Last edited by journeybear; Jan-27-2010 at 11:43am.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Oh lawdy! Apparently people with, um, just the right enough amount of time on their hands have made some technological strides regarding the evolution of the electric kazoo.

    Here is Kazoobie Kazoos, complete with demo video. I think it's "Inna-Gadda-Da-Vida," a true kazoo classic. They also have an iKazoo, which I guess you can use to jam along with your iPod - that is a very scary thought if it catches on!



    This is the Kazooka, which claims to be the original electric kazoo. (Prove it. That guy I mentioned deserves the honor, as far as I know.) Here's a video of a multi-looped production:



    and through some more devices, beginning at 2:30



    We also have some homespun video performances - rock:



    and more looping (audio runs out at :33):

    Last edited by journeybear; Jan-27-2010 at 12:21pm.
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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Always and forever, my favorite kazoo video -- and three-million-plus hits can't be wrong....

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    Registered User blacksmith's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    I've had mine for a few months now and it's FINALLY starting to open up.....
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    Michael Culliton mculliton123's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    All the Best
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    The more I look the more I find:

    Enter Kazoo Man: Metallica's "Enter Sandman" performed on KAZOO by Mister Tim (multitrack)



    Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" - Northwestern University Kazoo Choir (love the tuning up part)



    The Worlds Largest Kazoo Band (hang in there for the modulation)

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    When you put it in the Avitar guest slot, I was thinking it was the US Civil War Union Iron Clad,
    the Monitor,

    Because of the round turret look.. NB: real submarines don't have rotary turrets on the deck.

    [It makes it rather hard to keep the seawater out of the inside when not on the surface.]
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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    I may be mistaken, but it is my understanding that the Eden facility is the last metal kazoo factory in the country.


    I always wanted to work there, in QC.

    Would that not be a great thing on your resume - quality control inspector at the kazoo factory.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    NB: real submarines don't have rotary turrets \on the deck.

    [It makes it rather hard to keep the seawater out of the inside when not on the surface.]
    Unless you have O rings and gaskets big enough ...

    But that is what sank the Monitor - it got caught in a storm and the water sloshing up on the deck got into the gaps and swamped her, and down she went ...

    As far as I can tell, Jeff, they are still using the original 10 horsepower machine to stamp these out. I believe the two halves of the body are stamped together - not riveted or bolted or welded - the same way they have been for decades. But the majority are made in China, and plastic. It's gotten hard to find metal kazoos in music stores any more.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User Elliot Luber's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    I prefer to play the armpit.
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    I accompany the kazoo with armpit (for the bass line).
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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    Howling at the moon Wolfboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Trivia question: name an album by a band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on which three band members are credited with kazoo.

    Answer: Anthem of the Sun by the Grateful Dead. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthem_of_the_Sun

  20. #20
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Wait, wait - I know the answer to this one! Is it "Alligator" on Anthem of the Sun by the Grateful Dead?




    Oh wait - you already gave the answer? OOPS!!!



    Odd how you can tell who's playing which one. Jerry's got this cosmic transcendent vibe going, Bobby is more earnest than accomplished but still solid, and Phil holds it all together while keeping it loose.
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    Registered User Scott Austin's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    THIS is the best thread ,thanks everyone.!

  22. #22
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Why, thank YOU! And this is just National Kazoo Day Eve - wait until tomorrow!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Moderator JEStanek's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    It'll be a humdinger!

    Jamie
    There are two things to aim at in life: first, to get what you want; and, after that, to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. Logan Pearsall Smith, 1865 - 1946

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  24. #24
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    Hmmm ... that's the buzz!
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Registered User Dan Hoover's Avatar
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    Default Re: National Kazoo Day

    what would we ever do without you JB??? thank gosh we have you...
    i agree with Jamie..that avatar reminds me of "Das Boot"...which i believe i'll have to watch this weekend now,thank you...which also by the way, i caught a episode of 24 on tv,dunno why?and saw Jürgen Prochnow on it,who was also in Das Boot..and, i can't make it come back around to mandolin's or kazoo's...sorry..
    Happy Kazoo day!! cheers..
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