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M.Ted 08 May 07 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,Joe Arnold, Roughshod Records 09 May 07 - 08:51 PM
Azizi 09 May 07 - 09:22 PM
Azizi 09 May 07 - 09:28 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 09 May 07 - 10:29 PM
number 6 23 Jan 08 - 09:13 PM
topical tom 24 Jan 08 - 02:32 PM
PoppaGator 24 Jan 08 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Paul Hazell 12 Mar 09 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 12 Mar 09 - 06:14 PM
GUEST,Paul Hazell 12 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,DonMeixner 13 Mar 09 - 12:37 AM
Seamus Kennedy 13 Mar 09 - 12:53 AM
Seamus Kennedy 13 Mar 09 - 01:34 AM
Stephen L. Rich 13 Mar 09 - 02:53 AM
GUEST,Paul Hazell 13 Mar 09 - 05:18 AM
DonMeixner 13 Mar 09 - 09:36 AM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Mar 09 - 11:50 AM
Seamus Kennedy 13 Mar 09 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Mar 09 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Paul Hazell 14 Mar 09 - 04:23 PM
The Sandman 01 May 10 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,leeneia 01 May 10 - 03:58 PM
open mike 02 May 10 - 12:24 AM
open mike 02 May 10 - 01:04 AM
Jack Campin 19 Oct 20 - 10:21 AM
leeneia 19 Oct 20 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Don Meixner 20 Oct 20 - 01:25 PM
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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 May 07 - 03:39 PM

Bunkum is a folk art, so it's good.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,Joe Arnold, Roughshod Records
Date: 09 May 07 - 08:51 PM

Top Rail News Flash    *   May 2007
©1995 Top Rail Chatter, P.O. Box 100933, Arlington, Va. 22210

Mike Johnson's yodel songs part of American Music History!
Janet McKee and Peter Stark of the Library of Congress watch as Mike Johnson signs his yodeling songs into American Music History.

   In March 2007 Mike Johnson of Arlington, Virginia reached one of the most important milestones of his music career. His Yodel Song Archives, and related material, are now officially a part of the Recorded Sound Reference Center's permanent collection. The Reference Center is the intake and processing part of the Library of Congress' Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. Once processed into their database, the system is programmed to automatically transfer the works to the appropriate categories for their Reading Rooms and the Library's online website databases for public consumption.

   On the 26th of April 2007, Mike Johnson went over to the Library of Congress to sign the finalized Gift Agreement with Ms. Janet McKee, the Reference Center's Manager, and Mr. Peter Stark, the Library's Gift Coordinator. Johnson included a provision allowing to Library to make single song copies for their patrons and music researchers without having to obtain a clearance for each request.
   Johnson's works were particularly attractive because yodeling performances by African-American Yodelers are somewhat rare. Johnson has not only been a consistent Yodeler on the Independent Country Music circuit for more than 40 years, he has also written over 100 yodeling songs, a number of which have become quite popular among his following.

   While there have been scores of famous Anglo-American Country Music Yodelers, the few famous African-American Yodelers, like Charles Anderson, Monroe Tabor, Beulah Henderson, and the Mississippi Sheiks, had their heyday during the Minstrel and String Band era, roughly between 1888 and 1925. Their recordings are even more rare, most of them either lost, too fragile to play, or in the hands of tight-fisted private collectors. McDonald Craig of Linden, Tennessee, became a notable standout during the 1960s and '70s. A superb Jimmie Rodgers Yodeler who grew up in a Bluegrass-Mountain Music household is also the only Black Yodeler to ever win First Place at an annual [1978] Jimmie Rodgers Yodeling Championship held in Meridian Mississippi.
   Then Mike came along and combined the Jimmie Rodgers, Swiss, and Cowboy yodeling styles to create his own unique sound and began writing his own yodeling songs.
Copies of Mike Johnson's donated works and descriptions below.
Left to Right pictured above:
1. CD- Black Yodel No.1, The Song The Songwriter [13 songs]
2. Mike Johnson's Yodel Song Archives Vol.1 [2-discs - 64 songs]
3. CD-Mike Johnson Yodeling 40 Years [50 yodel songs]
4. Mike Johnson's Yodel Song Archives Vol.2 [2-discs -50 songs]
5. CD-Did You Hug Your Mother Today? [10 songs]
6. Stranding in the rear: Mike Johnson, The Official Short Version [46-page biography includes Mike's family and formative years, with photographs]
Not pictured above:
6. DVD- Mike Johnson Live [different performances]
7. DVD- Mike Johnson Black Yodel No.1 [yodeling performances]
8. Mike Johnson color portrait
9. 114 yodel song lyrics

   The soon to be 61-year old [June 2007] Johnson began his music journey as a boy in the 1950s when he became hooked on the music of the Singing Movie Cowboys, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Rex Allen and Herb Jeffries. Jeffries was the first and only African-American Singing Movie Cowboy who starred in four feature-length all-black cast western movies during the 1930s, before he made his mark with the Duke Ellington Band. Johnson imitated them and many others and around 1958 his transition to country music began when he was captivated by the sounds of a Pedal Steel Guitar coming from Mary's Blue Room one Saturday night. This little honky-tonk bar-restaurant was on Capitol Hill, in the 300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., right next door to the famous Tune Inn. Johnson began performing in the mid-1960s and did his first Nashville recording session in 1981. Along the way he formed Pata del Lobo Music publishing, Roughshod Records, and the Top-Rail Chatter Independent's Country Music magazine. In 2002 the National Traditional Country Music Association inducted him into America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.
   His yodel song "Yeah I'm A Cowboy" has appeared several times over the years and most recently on the international release "Rough Guide to Yodel" by the World Music Network in London. This 18 song compilation CD by Bart Plantenga features 18 World Famous Yodelers, including our own Mike Johnson on track 14. Plantenga is a noted Netherlands DJ, music historian, and author of the 2004 best seller, "Yodel Ay Eee Ooo The Secret History of Yodeling Around The World." He recently had a 5-page article on Mike Johnson published in the March 2007 issue of Big Mag, a Netherlands publication, and gave a yodel lecture slide show with Mike as the featured artist. Johnson is also included in his forthcoming book "Yodel In Hi-Fi."

   In the last three years Mike's Internet presence has grown considerably, in spite of the November 2003 neck injury that ended his long, interstate trucking career. Three of his neck vertebrae collapsed on his spinal cord. His first official performance following his rehabilitation was in May 2005 when he went to New York's Bowery Poetry Club to participate in Bart's yodel-book lecture with Yodelers Randy Erwin and Lynn Book. You can see Johnson on 16 of his own YouTube videos and purchase out his products at our Roughshod Records online store. DJs can download his music from the AirPlay Direct site.
   Mother's Day is next Sunday, 13 May 2007, so don't forget to say Happy Mother's Day with a song and grab a copy of Mike's 1994 Mother's Day radio hit "DID YOU HUG YOUR MOTHER TODAY?" at CD Baby.

   On a closing note, we wish to salute our legendary Bluegrass friend, Wade Mainer, who turned 100 years on the 21st. of April 2007. Mainer was very instrumental in the early stages of Bluegrass development. We here had the privilege of editing a video to DVD of Wade's birthday bash celebration at the Fenton Community Center, for our friend Virgie Warren's Bluebird Country News in Flushing, Michigan. It's an honor knowing you Wade, and we wish you 100 more!
   Adios amigos! Hope to see you down the road!

Joe Arnold, Top-Rail Editor
Courtesy of Roughshod Records

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: Azizi
Date: 09 May 07 - 09:22 PM

Thanks for sharing that interesting information, Joe Arnold!

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: Azizi
Date: 09 May 07 - 09:28 PM

It just occurred to me that the first yodeling I ever heard-and ever did-was the call that character Timmy [I think that was his name] did on various programs of the tv series "Lassie".

Timmy's call was something like "Ee Yaw Ee".

Does anyone else remember this? And was that boy using this sound to call his dog Lassie or to call a friend of his? Did his friend have a certain call too?

I can't remember.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 09 May 07 - 10:29 PM

I remember it as Jeff calling his friend Porky. Jeff was Tommy Rettig and it was later that Timmy played by Jon Provost came on board. The EE Yaw EE call was in the earlier shows. But I was seven then. And my memory may be not as good as I hope.


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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: number 6
Date: 23 Jan 08 - 09:13 PM

Here is someone you might find interesting. I do. Puts a different dimension to Swiss Yodelling.

Erika Stucky


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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: topical tom
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 02:32 PM

There have been many great yodelers throughout the years but, in my opinion, I have heard none better than Jimmie Rodgers.Other very good yodelers were Wilf Carter, Suzie Boggus and Pete Seeger.Roy Rogers would also be included in my list.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 03:48 PM

Dare To Yodel!

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,Paul Hazell
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 05:44 PM

Yodelling originated in the Alpine regions of Europe - not just Switzerland - and is still performed by many artistes there today. The styles vary from region to region - generally the slow, beautiful accurate yodels are sung by the Swiss whilst the faster more spectacular yodels are found more in Bavaria in Germany. A good example of Swiss yodels is Vreni Kneubuhl, whilst Franzl Lang is the most lauded master from Munich. Peter Hinnen is a Swiss who unusually perfected speed yodelling and went on to record pop and country music with a yodel.

Travelling European families in the 1800s and early 20th century were often heard on travelling "medicine" shows in the US and it seams likely that that waswhere Jimmie Rodgers learned it. Rodgers was a black-face minstrel after leaving the railroad. Some say he learned the art from Goebel Reeves but I understand that by the time the two met, Rodgers was already yodelling.

Whilst Rodgers' yodelling was simple - he had few competitors - he influenced and inspiured many including Elton Britt and gene autry (but not Wilf "Montana Slim" Carter, who was inspired by a minstrel yodeller calling himself the "Yodelling Fool"). Rodgers yodel was crisp and clear and he was indeed a fine yodeller. Others, like Britt, took his exampoles and developed the art further.

Meanwhile in australia and new Zealand, the records of Rodgers, Gene autry and the English music hall yodeller Harry Torrani were being released and inspired thousands of kids to try to yodel. Top of the pops there was Tex Morton (Robert Lane) who inspired a whole new country music industry that still thrives today.

In England we had George van dusen, Torrani, Bert Terrell and ronnie Ronalde amongst others (Ronalde is probably also the best whistler the world has ver known). Belgium had Bobbejaan schoiepen (pronounved Bobby yarn skoopen), Holland had several yodellers including Jodel jerry, Olga Lowina and texas Kitty prins, South Africa had Charles Jacobie and Santa vorster, etc - most will testify to having been influenced by Jimmie Rodgers, Wilf carter, elton Britt or Slim Whitman.

Frank Ifield was one of the many inspired by the early scene in australia and he himself inspired many more through the years - there, in the UK and elsewhere. Mary Schneider (classically trained but probably the best yodeller in the English speaking world today) started as a hillbilly singer on Regal Zonophone 78s in the 50s but herself is idol to many youngsters today.

Perhaps most spectacular of yodel careers has been that of Slim Whitman. Virtually ignored in his homoe country of USA for years, he has sold over a hundred million records, recorded more that 50 albums, broken box office records across the world for more than 5 decades and has one of the most beautiful singing voices in country music. More people should listen before they mock - the guy's voice is amazing.

In recent years I have worked with several labels to make more yodel material available. Seek out "The Greatest Yodelling Album Of All Time" a 2CD set on the Australian Rajon label - it has 50 yodellers from around the world. Try also the UK-based Jasmine label (look them up on we have done albums on Whitman, Ifield, a tribute to Jimmie Rodgers, a 4CD set of singing cowboys, 2 CDs of Britt, one of Slim Clark and three CDs dedicated to country yodelling. There is also a CD of Frank Ifield's pre-pop Australian years with loads of yodels! I am not an employee - I just compile albums for them.

Hope this helps albeit a bit late (just stumbled on the blog). Contact me on if you want to know more.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 06:14 PM

I reread this entire thread so I could comment on Slim Whitman. It took to the last posting to find Slim recognized for the quality performer he was. He was a pop sensation in England but over here the butt of a lot of jokes which is way too bad. His range was almost impossible and his tonality was nearly flawless. Hard to beat.

Box Car Willie was also a pretty good yodeler. He was lining up to be taken as a joke on afternoon cable TV record offers. Then Johnny Carson had him on TV and the late night crowd learned how good he was. I believe was on the Grand Ole Opry as a semi regular before he died.

I did earlier say the Jimmie Rogers was not a great yodeler. I am not about to change my opinion on further reflection. There is nothing wrong with being a very good yodeler which he may have been. Hard to tell with the quality of recordings from 1928-1930 something. I'd settle for me being a good yodeler but, alas, I'm just OK and thats pretty good too. My distant relatives Rudi and Inga Meixner are yodelers beyond amazement as far as I'm concerned.
But thats them Tyrols for you.


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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,Paul Hazell
Date: 12 Mar 09 - 06:29 PM

Just about to turn in (I'm in Saudi Arabia on business at the moment) and saw Don's new addition. I'd be interested to hear any recordings you may have Don. I am familiar with Inge and Rudi and have a couple of LPs.

I might add to my contribution above that Elton Britt and wilf carter both inspired Slim Whitman although it was hearing Jimmie Rodgers that first caused him to try yodelling. Kenny Roberts was a disciple of elton Britt and Wilf carter and a friend of Slim Clark who was one of the best speed yodellers. Slim and i used to speak on the telephone - I just wish he could have seen the Jasmine album of his work.

They say all things come around and English yodellers were inspired by the American and european yodellers. ronnie Ronalde learned direct from Swiss yodellers but was also impressed by Roy Rogers after they worked together at Radio city Music Hall. George Van Dusen told me about seeing harry Torrani on stage - Torrani was inspired by both European yodellers and the early cowboy singers. In his turn, Torrani adapted an old folk song called "Mountain High" (recvorded by Matt Keefe amongst others and called it "Happy And Free Yodel". A few years later, Elton Britt heard it, rearranged it and called it "Chime Bells"! Another country singer influenced by Torrani was Canada's yodel champ Donn Reynolds. Reynolds toured Australia in the 40s and recorded there - his songs influenced young yodellers such as Owen blundell.

I guess all these things are inter=related. Anyway, keep up the blog - yodelling needs the publicity!

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 12:37 AM

Sorry Paul, I've never gotten to record any yodeling thus far. Not a big call for it in an Irish Band. I plan to record some of just me sometime in the next year and I will definitely have a yodel or two on it.


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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 12:53 AM

Hi Paul Hazell- I'm a great fan aof pretty much all the country yodelers you named; but my idol was Frank Ifield, with Roy Rogers a close second.
Are you familiar with Carolina Cotton? She was a great female yodeler of the '40's and '50's here in the States.

If you PM me I'll send you one of her CDs. Frank Ifield's too if you want.

Don Meixner, what's wrong with throwing a little yodeling into an Irish show?

I do it all the time.

Yodeling originated in Ireland, you know. *G*
"Toora - loora - oora - loora - loora, oora - loora - loora - ooh."


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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 01:34 AM

Hey guys - I just found out that Merle Travis was a heckuva yodeler too.

Check this out

You're welcome.


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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 02:53 AM

I've been doing it on stage for nearly forty years. I've yet to hear anyone tell me that I shouldn't in a folk venue.

Stephen Lee

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,Paul Hazell
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 05:18 AM

Hi again

Frank Ifield is a good personal friend and we have often worked together on radio. Seamus, have you heard the Jasmine label CD (UK release) "The Yodelling Cowboy Years" by Frank? He is also on other Jasmine releases namely "A Cowboy's Life Is Good enough For Me" (4CD set - Frank does "tHERE'S a LOVE kNOT iN mY lARIAT" AND "a mOTHER'S FAITH") AND "Chime Bells - The Best Of Country Yodel Vol 3" (Frank does "Yodelling Back To You").

I agree that carolina Cotten was probably the best of the yodeling cowgirls - nothing against Patsy or Rosalie but Carolina's yodel was clear, sharp and accurate.

For me, there were many "greats" and in my hit parade I would include Frank, Slim Whitman, Elton Britt, Reg Lindsay, Kenny Roberts, Tex Morton, Cole Wilson, Don Edwards, Rex Allen.... - come to think of it - they're all my favourites!!

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: DonMeixner
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 09:36 AM

Has anyone mentioned the Riders In The Sky yet? Another fine set of harmony yodelers in The Sons of The Pioneers style. Ranger Doug (Green?) is another fine yodeler.

Seamus, I yodel just a bit with the Column on too few songs. I should add more.


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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 11:50 AM

Hi, Don. A few months ago we had a thread on Yodelling and Yeats which highlighted a video of the Riders in the Sky. Unfortunately, the video disappeared from YouTube.

Ranger Doug of the Riders in the Sky was a wonderful yodeller.

Much to the bafflement of my cat, I have been listening to yodelling of all kinds on YouTube. The variety is amazing. It ranges from comic to reverent in tone and features men, women, soloists and groups.

I have also discovered that against all logic, and against all supposed cultural norms, that yodelling is very exciting and beautiful. It stirs the inner being somehow.

For example, there's a popular video of a little girl, Taylor Ware, singing 'He Taught me to Yodel' on the TV show 'America's Got Talent.' One of the judges is a very sophisticated, very urban-looking black woman, supposedly the antithesis of the yodeller. Yet she loves it! She's obviously pleased and excited by the sound.
Another great yodeller is Kerry Christensen. He has a beautiful warm baritone voice and incredible yodelling technique. You can find lots of his stuff on the web.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 12:19 PM

Paul - I'm delighted to hear that Frank is a friend of yours.
Believe it or not, I was in his fan club back home in Belfast in the '60's. I just loved his singing and yodeling. In fact, he's the one who turned me on to yodeling.
And yes, I have his yodeling cowboy years album.
I'd love to drop him a fan letter (even at my advanced age) and let him know that he's responsible for me yodeling on stage.
Do you have an address.

I'm glad you're familiar with Carolina Cotton; not many people have heard of her.

Don - Ranger Doug is a friend and we are in contact once a year when I send him a royalty check for "How The Yodel Was Born".

Leeneia is right - there's a ton of great (and not so great) yodelers on YouTube, which unfortunately I watch when I should be doing something else, like learning a new song.


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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Mar 09 - 05:51 PM

Hello, Seamus. It's nice to hear from another yodel explorer. As for learning new songs, you could combine both worlds and sing along with YouTube...

Apropos of nothing, my method of learning new songs is to tape the lyrics to a kitchen cupboard and sing while I cook, referring to the lyrics on the cupboard as needed.

I'm glad to hear that Ranger Doug is still with us.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,Paul Hazell
Date: 14 Mar 09 - 04:23 PM

I agree that Ranger Doug is a fine yodeller in the Elton Britt / Roy Rogers vein. Merle Travis recorded several yodel things, most notably Jimmie Rodgers songs but also Dick Thomas's "Sioux City Sue". Dick wasalso a fine yodeller. I note that Grandpa Jones is also mentioned earlier in this thread - he had an album of Rodgers' songs called "Yodeling Hits" back around 1963.

Earlier in this thread too was a statement that the UK has not had many yodellers. That set me to thinking and I came up with Bert Terrell, George Van Dusen, Harry Wulson, Ned tucker, G H Elliott, Ronnie Ronalde, "Goofus", Chic Murray, Harry Torrani, Terry Edwards, Houston Wells, Cliff Whelan, Keith Manifold, Brian Golbey, Ron Jones, Karl Denver (great artiste but not strictly a yodeller), Frank ifield (born in UK and had his biggest hits here), Pete King and I suspect a few more!

Yodellingly yours! PAUL

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 May 10 - 01:10 PM

Paul Hazell,do you mean yodelling pete king from redcar ,who used to run the black bull folk club in yarm.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 May 10 - 03:58 PM

Well, well. I had no idea the UK had so many yodellers.

My theory is that yodelling is a way of using the voice as an instrument, something similar to what birds do. Whereas most other singing uses the voice to enhance language.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: open mike
Date: 02 May 10 - 12:24 AM

Wylie gives a yodel lesson at the National Cowboy Music and Poetry Gathering

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: open mike
Date: 02 May 10 - 01:04 AM
Don Edwards singing about has a little coyote yip yodel

Here he does Cattle Call - not really a yodel, i guess,
but a warble..but he does break into a yodel...

Here is Don Edwards singing Little Joe the Wrangler at his Jack Thorpe
song session

guess who the video camera operator is here? (yours truely)

lighting faces is a challenge when the hat brim is in the way!

oops no yodel in this one..

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: Jack Campin
Date: 19 Oct 20 - 10:21 AM

Atul Gawande on Twitter:

"Then there's this: After 600 people attended a yodeling concert in Switzerland, one yodeler tested (+) for coronavirus. 3 weeks later, the area has among the highest infection rates in the country with 633 active cases Friday. The area has 434 cases/100K."

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: leeneia
Date: 19 Oct 20 - 12:57 PM

Now is a good time not to go to concerts.

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Subject: RE: Yodelling
From: GUEST,Don Meixner
Date: 20 Oct 20 - 01:25 PM

From the time I became interested in yodeling I have wondered if Western Cowboy style yodeling had its beginnings in Texas. I know there is a large historically German community in and around New Braunfels, Texas. Is this a good enough connection to a European tradition?

I have reread this thread again for the manieth time. I will hold to my original comment on Jimmie Rodgers yodeling only I will state it   more precisely. Jimmie's yodeling was not show yodeling like the Sons of The Pioneers or The Riders in The Sky. His was a very solid basic yodel that got the job done and done well. With out his recording of yodels we probably wouldn't have the yodeling we do today.

Jimmie Rodgers (September 8, 1897 – May 26, 1933) was already an established musician with his band when he recorded his first recordings in August of 1927. He continued to record until his death in 1933.

In 1933 Roy Rogers, Tim Spencer, and Bob Nolan formed The Pioneer Trio in or around Los Angeles. All three were yodelers and they developed a very tight polished style of harmony yodeling. There were other yodelers and it certainly wasn't unique as a vocal style by 1933. But what the Sons were doing was special.   

I think it is fair to say that the popularity of yodeling as Jimmie Rodgers did was the impetus for The Sons of The Pioneers and Gene Autry, Elton Britt, Wilf Carter and many others to add yodeling to their repertoire.

While I grew up with The Sons of The Pioneers it was Bill Staines that reawakened my interest in yodeling and my rediscovery of Jimmie Rodgers, Frank Ifield, Slim Whitman and my discovery of Suzzy Boguss, Sourdough Slim, Don Edwards, Dave Stamey and The Riders in The Sky among others.

Don Meixner

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