Jukebox: A Choir of Turkeys

Wild turkeys gobble on cue

A San Francisco resident has learned that wild male turkeys can gobble on cue. (Julie Vader / iStockPhoto.com)
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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 served as its first digital content editor, the Hindustan Times newspaper and Smithsonian magazine. Currently, she is a Master's student at MIT, where she studies user-generated content and mainstream media culture. She's also a science writer, media blogger, and essayist.

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