Okay folks...
Let's put on a show! You bring your sweet potato and I'll bring mine!
or for the more refined folks visiting here...
Let us consider performing this evening for a few of our really smart chums. You bring your ocarina and I'll bring mine.
This book, Music Is Fun with this Gretsch Ocarina Book, dates back to 1940, pre-war. I'm wondering if it actually became popular, as this book hoped, for service men to form ocarina bands. I would like to hear that. This is another dandy from Bert's collection

Click on any image to see it larger.






I guess you could say this is another "raise your hand" post. Who remembers sweet potatoes when you were a kid. (No, not those things in the bowl with the melted marshmallows on top.) I remember someone having one made out of plastic. Maybe I owned it, I don't know. I do still have my kazoo, but that's a whole other story.

For your listening pleasure I give you some faux ocarina playing by Hope and Crosby. The sound is true ocarina, but they aren't playing it.


  1. I could swear I see Hope doing the Moon Walk! Sweet Potatoes are at least a once a week menu item in this house, and no, neither of us play the ones we eat.

    I know I've asked before, but just how many tons of ephemera did you get from Bert?

  2. Sheet music...36.5 lbs. I'm not kidding. I actually weighed it. I gave up trying to carry the box and just shoved it through the house.

    Oh yes, a nice baked sweet potato is so fine.

  3. Something about those ocarinas jogs the memory. I want to say I ran across one as a child. Maybe it was a knockoff in a cereal box or something. It's amusing that they put so much effort behind having the ocarina really take off. Great post and insight!

  4. Brian, I'm having the same sort of memory hang. It's familiar, but I'm not sure why. I think I must have had one. Probably another toy that never came out of storage.

  5. Felix0912/07/2012

    I still have the ocarina my mother's father used in the early part of the twentieth- century. I do not know what it is made of but it is not plastic.