NATIONAL KAZOO DAY
January 28 is National Kazoo Day, recognizing nearly 200 years of kazoo music in the United States.
Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia made the first Kazoo in the 1840s. The instrument requires little effort to create a sound (though some skill is necessary to make intelligible music) the kazoo adds a jazzy element to a song or comedic punctuations to just about any skit. If you can hum, you can play the kazoo!
Inspired by the African horn, the Mirliton, made from bone, gourds and a variety of other materials, Vest partnered with Thaddeus Von Clegg to produce his design in metal. Clegg, a German clockmaker, took Vest’s idea and put it into production.
The first U.S. patent for a toy musical instrument with the proposed name of “kazoo” was submitted to the U.S. Patent office by Warren H. Frost and granted patent number 270,543 on January 9, 1883.
Along came traveling salesman, Emil Sorg. He took great interest in the kazoo and carried the idea back to Western New York in 1912 where he partnered with Michael McIntyre. In 1915, McIntyre partnered with Harry Richardson, and they established The Original American Kazoo Company which began producing metal kazoos. They are still in production today in Eden, NY.
During World War I, another instrument made the scene. Larger and little more cumbersome for a child to manage, the bazooka was also touted as an instrument anyone could play (and build).
HOW TO OBSERVE
Play the kazoo and take the quiz on Today’s Trivia! Use #NationalKazooDay to post on social media.
Founded in 1983 by Chaplin Willard Rahn of the Joyful Noise Kazoo Band, National Kazoo Day was created to celebrate the humble kazoo and all the infectious joy it brings to people of all ages.
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