Help me identify and hear a musical instrument I saw on TV about 20 years ago.
May 24, 2007 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Singer Linda Ronstadt appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson years ago (20 or more?). She sang a song that was accompanied by a strange looking instrument. My faulty memory bank says it looked like a ceramic pot turning on a horizontal rotisserie! Can you help me identify me a picture...let me hear it?
posted by rdauphin to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A Hurdy Gurdy?
posted by bondcliff at 8:42 AM on May 24, 2007

Best answer: Could it have been a glass harmonica?
posted by kdern at 8:43 AM on May 24, 2007

Best answer: Could it have been related to a glass harmonica? (An instrument also called the "glass armonica" made up of glass cups that rotate on a central spindle and work the same way as you rubbing your finger around the rim of a glass.)

[I didn't see the show, could be way off-base]
posted by rmless at 8:45 AM on May 24, 2007

Best answer: It must have been a glass harmonica... she released a whole album using the instrument.

posted by kdern at 8:46 AM on May 24, 2007

Best answer: Probably the glass armonica:

"To Ronstadt, sublime is something else. It's the glass armonica, an instrument she was first captivated by in the early 1970s. "I don't remember to this day where I first heard it, but I never heard music the same after that. It was one of those experiences that just changes everything. And I searched for it always after that, but I wasn't on a track that would run me into a glass armonica, I was on a track that would run me into a guitar player."

Finally, in 1993, when Ronstadt was commissioned to write and record a song for Agnieszka Holland's film, The Secret Garden, she knew the time had come to find a glass armonica. Although she didn't discover her armonicist, Dennis James, until after the track, Winter Light, was cut, she incorporated his playing into the revamped version of the song for her album of the same name, and used him on three successive albums, most noticeably Dedicated To The One I Love, her 1996 collection of rock songs reinterpreted as children's lullabies."
posted by neustile at 8:46 AM on May 24, 2007

.. sorry, on the Tonight Show. With Leno though. 1993.
posted by neustile at 8:48 AM on May 24, 2007

Response by poster: Yes, I'm sure that's it. Thanks so much for quick and accurate response. I'm thrilled to find this info... the hive ROCKS!
posted by rdauphin at 8:53 AM on May 24, 2007

I wonder if it might have been a berimbau? That was my first guess from your description of the instrument. Maybe one of the songs from Frenesi - released in 1992
posted by rongorongo at 8:54 AM on May 24, 2007

Invented by your friend and mine, Benjamin Franklin. Let's have a nice round of applause for Ben.
posted by fidelity at 9:06 AM on May 24, 2007

Doncha just love AskMeFi?
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:50 AM on May 24, 2007

aren't all rotisseries horizontal? has anybody here ever seen a vertical rotisserie?
posted by bruce at 1:50 AM on May 25, 2007

has anybody here ever seen a vertical rotisserie?

Certainly. On my in-laws' countertop, also.
posted by cairnish at 2:00 PM on May 25, 2007

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