Let’s face it, “Kalamazoo” is a great word - I’m surprised *more * songs don’t use it. But it’s just a smallish city in the midwest. Two songs on my IPod have shout-outs to Kalamazoo - “I Got a Gal” by Glenn Miller, and “Marylou” by Bob Seger.
If I wanted to do a Kalamazoo-reference playlist, what other songs should I include?
Primus also has a song called “Kalamazoo.” Haven’t heard it so I don’t know if it’s in the lyrics too.
And may I just add that, as a child who grew up singing in school choirs in Kalamazoo, if I never hear that goddamn A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I got a GAAAAAAL in Kalamazoo shit again it will be too soon.
Della and the Dealer - Hoyt Axton:
*It was Della and a dealer and a dog named Jake,
And a cat named Kalamazoo,
Left the city in a pick-up truck.
Gonna make some dreams come true. *
Frank Zappa: “Jumbo Go Away”
Creedence Clearwater Revival: “Down on the Corner” (where it appears to be the name of a homemade musical instrument)
Walt Kelly’s memorable “Deck Us All with Boston Charlie” (who of course is in passing the man who went to ride on the MTA)
Of the lot it’s the only one that rhymes “Kalamazoo” with “Alleygaroo,”
Hmmm. I always assumed “kalamazoo” in Down on the Corner was to “kazoo” as “edumacation” is to “education.” (There’s a name for inserting extra syllables in words like that, and I can’t remember what it is!)
Could be. Here’s the lyric:
Rooster hits the washboard and people just got to smile,
Blinky, thumps the gut bass and solos for a while.
Poorboy twangs the rhythm out on his kalamazoo.
Willy goes into a dance and doubles on kazoo.
“Doubling” sure makes it sound like it’s the same instrument. Unless the kalamazoo is some kind of string instrument and Willy’s just doubling the rhythm?
And I’d forgotten all about the Pogo reference - a classic! (If, by “classic”, we mean so old that nobody remembers it . . .)
‘Kalamazoo’ by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra – not just a shout but the actual song title.
Joe Strummer of Clash fame had a solo song called “Trash City” which included Kalamazoo amongst its lyrics:
I believe the Glenn Miller references by Boyo Jim and Genghis Bob are both to the same song, IIRC titled “I Got a Girl (in Kalamazoo).”
The Oblivians covered “Mary Lou” on “…Play 9 songs with Mr. Quintron”, which includes the lyric:
She left me stranded in Kalamazzo
She’s the kind of woman make a fool outta you"
After a little searching around, this seems to be be almost true, though my CD says just ‘Kalamazoo’. At the iTunes store, ‘Kalamazoo’ appears to be an instrumental, the versions titled “I’ve Got a Girl in Kalamazoo” have a vocalist singing lyrics. But that distinction only appears to be true for Glenn Miller releases, others release it onder one title or another with or without a vocal track. There are numerous titles for the same song:
I’ve Got a Gal In Kalamazoo
(I’ve Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo
I Got a Gal in Kalamazoo
(I Got a Gal In) Kalamazoo
I’ve Got a Girl In Kalamazoo
(I’ve Got a Girl In) Kalamazoo
even I’ve Got a Guy In Kalamazoo - with a female vocalist.
A couple of other titles from the iTunes store:
Ghost of Kalamazoo
Hullabaloo in Kalamazoo
Kalamazoo to Timbuktu
Whole Lotta Kalamazoo
I don’t believe that can be right, as the word “kazoo” appears in the very next line, and John Fogerty is too smart a lyricist to rhyme a word with a distorted version of the same word. Also, you don’t “twang the rhythm out” on a kazoo; you buzz the melody out. It seems like he’s referring to something along the lines of a washtub bass or a cigar-box & rubber band banjo, but I’ve never heard of any such instrument called a kalamazoo.
And Genghis Bob, I think he means “doubling” in the sense of playing an instrument in addition to your primary one, as in a saxophone player doubling on flute. So Willy’s main role is dancer, but he doubles as the kazoo player.
Then again, at the time this song was in the charts, I thought that line was “And when he goes into a dance, the devil’s on the loose.” Hmm, where’s that So that’s what he’s singing thread?
Misspelled, but in Hot Action Cop’s song “Doom Boom” lies this little lyric:
“Forget about the party- shit’s in Calamazoo,
And I don’t feel like drivin’ any more than you do.”
…Unless there is an actual city by that name, but my search didn’t turn up anything. Always caught my ear since I go to college there.
Steve Goodman’s - “Turnpike Tom”
Yeaarrrgh! Evil! Damn you and your earworm!
Just a brief hijack that Kalamazoo was the original home of Gibson guitars, so it is rich in musical history…
…and Gibson made a guitar model called a “Kalamazoo”, so that might be the referenced instrument. Other than that, there is a brand of amp called a Kalamazoo.
I went to college in Kalamazoo, and our favorite was always the Primus “Kalamazoo”.