The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #1649   Message #3581499
Posted By: GUEST,Paul Hazell
04-Dec-13 - 04:25 PM
Thread Name: Origin: Yodeling
Subject: RE: Origin: Yodeling
better late than never! "The Singing Hills" is something of a classic - though western style in its lyrics it was traditionally sung by balladeers with orchestral accompaniment. Slim Whitman did it as a country song around 1959 and Elton britt recorded it twice - once with a yodel.

"The Echoing Hills Yodel back To me" was written and recorded by Canada's Wilf Carter (aka Montana Slim), not Elton Britt as suggested at the beginning of this thread. Others have recorded it since but Wilf was the originator - I think back in the 30s on a Bluebird 78. Around 1965 he recorded it again in Canada for one of his "home session" LPs on RCA Camden titled "Balladeer Of the Golden West"

The general view seems to be that yodeling originated in the Alpine Mountains of Bavaria, Switzerland and Austria, although similar manifestations are noted in other cultures (e.g. the Australian "Cooee Call"). Traveling European families seem to have brought the yodel to America where it was picked up by minstrels including Jimmie Rodgers who is generally credited for introducing the yodel to country music.

Riley Puckett was however recording yodels in country songs before Rogers and Rodgers later recorded some of them. Nevertheless Rodgers had a huge influence over subsequernt performers so is usually given the lion's share of the credit. He inspired the likes of Gene Autry, Lefty Frizzell, Hank Snow, Merle Haggard and many others. Contrary to popular belief he was not the inspiration for Wilf Carter - Wilf was inspired by a minstrel - possibly a travelling Weuropean - who performed in a tent show as "The Yodelling Fool". He sang "Sleep Little One Sleep", which Wilf later covered. Interestingly, Riley Pucket recorded a version as "Sleep Baby Sleep" and this song was also one of the two songs Jimmie Rodgers auditioned with to win his contract with RCA.

The country yodel has subsequently been incorpoeated back into the European "Volksmusik" from whence it came and such masters of the art as Roland Steinel, Thomas Scholl, Franzl Lang and melanie Oesch have all sung country yodel songs.