Happy National Kazoo Day, dear readers. This is the day decreed that we celebrate the kazoo – an American invention that has filled our hearts and ear drums with joyful hums since the 1840’s.
The kazoo was invented by Alabama Vest and Thaddeus Von Clegg. It magnifies and transforms the human voice to fulfill the role of a horn and its vibrant quality can be heard in numerous styles of music the world over: jazz, jug band, classical, choral, samba, and blues.
The Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops celebrate olde-timey sound – featuring kazoo – and talk about their work in a Fresh Air interview from 2010.
The kazoo is even celebrated in poetry:
We had kazoos at our wedding; our guests weren’t given instructions and the cacophonous roar that greeted us as we entered the reception hall after the yichud was joyful and frightening – exactly like the start of a marriage. Wilco’s “Heavy Metal Drummer” was supposed to be playing, but I don’t think we would have heard it anyway.
It isn’t just a child’s novelty toy – it’s appropriate for most occasions (try it and see) – and it is something wonderful and oddball.
If you’re in South Carolina today, you might stop by the Kazoo Museum for more information and to visit a real kazoo factory! Until that opportunity arrives, however, enjoy these performance and have a wonderful, hummable day.
Coincidentally, the day corresponds with Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. The possibilities of this combination are endless. ENJOY!