Jukebox: A Choir of Turkeys | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian
Current Issue
July / August 2014  magazine cover
Subscribe

Save 81% off the newsstand price!

A San Francisco resident has learned that wild male turkeys can gobble on cue. (Julie Vader / iStockPhoto.com)

Jukebox: A Choir of Turkeys

Wild turkeys gobble on cue

Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

In 1973, Jim Nollman was a recent college graduate with avant-garde musical aspirations. The San Francisco resident had learned that wild male turkeys can gobble on cue—especially in response to loud or high-pitched sounds. So Nollman visited a turkey farm in Sonoma County, sat down among 300 adult male turkeys and serenaded them with the folk song "Froggy Went a-Courtin'." When he raised his voice during the chorus, the turkeys joined in. His recording of the event, "Music to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner By," became a local radio hit.

Hear Froggy-Went-a-Courting (300 Turkeys), and Music to Eat Thanksgiving Dinner By (3 Flute Players and 300 Turkeys)

Music courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution. Please click here to purchase or for more information

About Anika Gupta
Anika Gupta

Anika Gupta’s writing has appeared in India and the United States, including in Business Today magazine, where she serves as its first digital content editor, the Hindustan Times newspaper and Smithsonian magazine.

Read more from this author |

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus