Speaker Series: The Kazoo's Place in History and Music March 8 - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Speaker Series: The Kazoo’s Place in History and Music March 8

Bristol, Va.-Tenn. (March 3, 2022) – Kazoos are often thought of as a quirky little noise maker that requires little skill to play and is considered by some to be the opposite of a “respectable” musical instrument. However, peculiar as it may be, the kazoo’s backstory has serious origins in Africa with its predecessor, the horn-mirliton. On Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00 p.m. EST, Scott Paulson, exhibits and events coordinator at the University of California San Diego library, is joining us for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s Speaker Series where he will explore some surprising kazoo history and trivia about this misunderstood instrument.

“Scott’s talk for our monthly speaker series program is going to be really fun and informative,” says Head Curator Rene Rodgers. “Not only will attendees learn about the kazoo’s history, including its connections to country music, but they’ll also get the chance to hear the way this instrument can be used for sound effects and enjoy a show-and-tell examination of various kazoo types, amongst other surprises!”

Scott Paulson has spent more than four decades at UC San Diego, first as a student of music and linguistics, and today as the exhibits and events coordinator for the campus’ iconic Geisel Library. He has been part of the library’s special events around National Kazoo Day for the past few years. Starting off from a challenge to use “serious library tools to investigate a light, playful topic,” the library’s “kazoo salute” has included exhibits, live kazoo performances, and the commissioning of original kazoo music.

In addition to covering the history of the instrument, Paulson will survey the greatest forgotten kazoo solos of all time and explore a Bristol Sessions kazoo connection during the online event.

There will be no in-person option for this Speaker Series event as Paulson leads the conversation from his home in California, via Zoom. There is no cost to join the museum’s Speaker Series online, but you must pre-register online to join the event. Visit the Events page here to RSVP and for more information.