Ahh, the kazoo, the one instrument that anyone can play. TripCart's been digging around Georgia recently and we came across one peculiarly named Georgian: Mr. Alabama Vest. Old Vest was from Macon, GA, and in the 1840s he got hold of an immigrant German clock maker, Thaddeus Van Glegg, to help him make his first kazoos. The pair were humming in no time and took their new invention (based on African horn-mirlitons) to the Georgia State Fair in 1952. A traveling salesman by the name of Emil Sorg caught the buzz and carried the new musical device off to Eden, NY, where the first production kazoos were manufactured. By 1914 kazoos were being mass produced and the instrument was patented in 1923.
The kazoo may have lost some of its popularity over the years but it's had it's fair share of exposure in modern music-
- Queen band members Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor both rock the kazoo on "Seaside Rendezvous"
- Jimi Hendrix uses a kazoo as an overdubbed afterthought on "Crosstown Traffic"
- Eric Clapton's unplugged version of "San Francisco Bay Blues" has some kazoo
- Pink Floyd's David Gilmore busts out a kazoo instrumental on "Corporal Clegg"
We'll finish up with a video of the incredibly involved and intricate process that goes into manufacturing the kazoo: