Happy National Kazoo Day-January 28

NATIONAL KAZOO DAY HISTORY

Founded in 1983 by Chaplin Willard Rahn of the Joyful Noise Kazoo Band, National Kazoo Day celebrates the humble kazoo and all the infectious joy it brings to people of all ages.

Don't blow it out your wazoo
Instead blow it on a kazoo

The kazoo is an American musical instrument that adds a “buzzing” timbral quality to a player’s voice when the player vocalizes into it. It is a type of mirliton (which itself is a membranophone), one of a class of instruments which modifies its player’s voice by way of a vibrating membrane of goldbeater’s skin or material with similar characteristics.

Similar hide-covered vibrating and voice-changing instruments have been used in Africa for hundreds of years, often for ceremonial purposes.

From Kazoo History:

In the mid-18th hundreds the kazoo in its present form started making an impact on the history of the world. A guy by the name of Alabama Vest got the idea for the kazoo in the 1840’s in Macon, Georgia. He teamed up with the German clock manufacturer Thaddeus Von Glegg to construct the first kazoo.

Emil Sorg, who was a travelling salesman, came across a Vest and von Glegg’s kazoo on one of his business trips. He showed great interest in the kazoo and was eager to get the kazoo into mass-production. With this thought in mind Emil Sorg travelled to New York. Here he became partners with Michael McIntyre, who was an iron smith. Together Sorg and McIntyre created the first production of the kazoo in the year 1912. McIntyre had now gained enough knowledge to maintain the production of kazoos all by himself. All he needed was a larger factory.

In 1913 he separated from Emil Sorg and teamed up with Harry Richardson who owned a big metal factory. McIntyre and Richardson launched the first mass-production of the kazoo in 1914. Selling kazoos was a good business. The salesfigures of the popular instrument rose enormously. In 1916 McIntyre and Richardson renamed their partnership and turned it into a company called The Original American Kazoo Company. As other manufacturers of kazoos tried to get in on the sales market the pressure of competition was rising. Therefore it was a feeling of satisfaction and pride when McIntyre succeded to get his product patented in 1923.

The factory itself still exists today and it still produces kazoos. Next to the the original factory a museum has been built to tell the history of the kazoo and to give a detailed description of the manufacturing process.

10 thoughts on “Happy National Kazoo Day-January 28”

  1. Yay KAZOO! Such a lowly but satisfying instrument. Any kid can make music, or at least an annoying sound. I certainly did. As I got older, I remember hearing kazoos in the mouths of professional musicians like Jim Kweskin, Arlo Guthrie, and the Beatles. Thanks to your reminder, I know what my granddaughters will be getting for their next birthdays.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah. I would send kazoos to my grandsons too, but I am more afraid of my daughter’s reaction than my daughter-in-law’s. My daughter is a fun-loving woman but she has a thing about noise. I can imagine her dealing with teenaged boys and kazoos.

    Liked by 1 person

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