2/5/20 1920s Kazoo

Vernon Dalhart used over one hundred aliases in his very prolific recording career, which began in 1916. According to the book “Before Elvis: The Prehistory of Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Larry Birnbaum, a trio called Fred Ozark’s Jug Blowers recorded a pair of songs May 1924. The funny bit is that there was no jug in the band. Vernon Dalhart, Cliff “Ukulele Ike” Edwards, and Ed Smalle were playing kazoos.

These songs are on my “Washboards, Jug Bands, Etc” list: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkY8-UOMZQ091QO4p8shq4WJlMXe2SvKd

I clustered these songs with a couple more of Vernon’s kazoo-band aliases, Windy City Jazzers (Dalhart, Smalle, and Harry Reser) in June 1924 and Red Flame Kazoo Travellers (Dalhart, Smalle, and possibly Reser or John Calli) in May 1924. Later in 1924, Dalhart had country music’s first million-selling record.

Also on my playlist is a 1929 video clip from the Mound City Blue Blowers, an act which used not only “real” kazoos, but also comb-and-paper, and played a suitcase for percussion. The name of their 1929 film short is “The Opry House.” https://www.loc.gov/item/jots.200018246

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