Front Porch: Home: Music (Mine and Others') : Yodel Central
Like a lot of the things I'm now genuinely into, I got into yodeling as sort of a joke. I had read a review of Randy Erwin's EP in Folk Roots magazine and thought the description of him as a lasso-twirling yodeler sounded like the squarest thing to be into. Which makes it the coolest, mais oui.
Well, it serves my smart ass right, but I fell in love with the stuff. I started haunting library record bins to check out cheezy travelogue albums from Switzerland, Austria and Germany. I started slowly finding out about Elton Britt, Jimmie Rodgers, Emmett Miller and other Country-Western yodelers. I even found an Australian yodeling album (I believe it was Slim Dusty) and I didn't even know the Australians were into that stuff.
Many long trips in the car alone helped gave me the opportunity to learn to yodel without really bugging anyone. If you think yodeling is annoying, you would be sure to hate someone who is falteringly learning to yodel. Country-Western yodeling came easiest to me since I'm used to those very American intervals. I'm trying to become a better Alpine yodeler. I have dreams of showing up on some doorstep in Switzerland and saying "Teach me!"
When last I searched on Yahoo, there weren't many pages in English dedicated to yodeling. I thought I would make a page describing what it is and trying to teach people about it, but the Internet Yodel Course has since appeared and I don't believe in reinventing the wheel.
Frequently Asked Questions
First of all, I like getting email, but it would be nice if people could say something like "thanks for your site and the work you put into it" before they launch into demanding that I research something for them for free.
1. I heard this really weird/pretty/amazing yodeling during the Lillehammer Olympics/on some commercial/the Howard Stern Show. Who is it and where can I get it?
I can't always guess accurately if I didn't hear it myself, but most people are asking about Mary Schneider. You'll see a link to her info in the Alpine Yodeling section.
2. Can you help me find The Yodel Polka/some other song I remember?
I'm happy to help you if I happen to know the tune. Often I don't. I can't type lyrics out to people because I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome among other problems and typing takes it out of me. If you have some clue as to how the title goes, try searching on All Music Guide. They have a nice song search engine.
3. What's a good CD introduction to yodeling?
I don't know that I can say what they best all-time yodeling album is. I just don't have that large of a collection.
The best Alpine style album I've heard so far was issued in the '70s on Peters International. I listened to it at the Brand Branch of the Glendale Public Library, so if you live in Southern California, you're in luck.
I can highly recommend any of Randy Erwin's solo albums. He varies between a Country/Western and Alpine yodel. He has great technical mastery and control and a really pure, smooth voice.
The best survey album I've ever heard is American Yodeling 1909-1940 by Trikont Records. I have a link to it in the Country/Western section.
Spot the Yodel and Yodeling in the News
Contemporary C&W Yodelers
- The man who started it all (for me at least) - Randy Erwin. As usual, AMG has screwed up their database and lists Randy as deceased!
- Janet McBride - She taught LeeAnn Rimes to yodel and has won several awards for her yodeling. She has two albums on Cattle Records and several on her own label.
- Janet's student Kazzi Shae, a young Texas yodeler.
- Janet also mentored The Texas Two Bits, performers of Texas swing in yodelin' harmony.
- Kacey Musgraves, late of the Texas Two Bits.
- Kerry Christensen - Western and International Yodeler
- MacKenzie Traditional - links to info on many Maine and New England yodelers (high graphics and Java content)
- Riders in the Sky - yodels and humor and more...
- The Daughters of the Purple Sage seem influenced by the same close harmony Western vocals and yodeling as the Riders...
- Pioneer Pepper and the Sunset Pioneers
- Ranch Romance - I didn't know they yodeled, although my friend Lisa Clayton raved about this band. Suggested by Hideki Terami
- Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer - they even have an album called "Yodel-Ay-Hee-Hoo"! They also have an instructional tape on yodeling.
- Canadian yodeler Shirley Field.
- Wylie and the Wild West - this guy likes yodeling and ukulele?? I think I'm in love... Wylie and the Wild West appeared on the Grand Ole Opry on 3/24/01. That Opry show is archivedhere.
- Don Walser - thanks to Gregg Irwin for tipping me off to him. Check out the Brag Page.
- Gary McMahan is a yodeler and cowboy poet.
- KG and the Ranger - a Madison, WI duo. Like Randy Erwin, the Ranger twirls a lariat as well. They won the WMA 1999 Yodeling Contest in the Duo category. Congrats!
- The Flying W Wranglers perform old time singing cowboy type music with yodels thrown in for good measure.
- Kenny Roberts - King of the Yodelers - recommended by John D. Moore
- Acclaimed yodeler, not to mention accordion player, Sourdough Slim.
- The Local Girls
- Rusty Hudelson and Tania Moody - Father - daughter yodel performance and instruction.
- Margo Smith - "World Class Yodeler" has a yodeling instruction tape available.
- Mulga Music Yodelers - an association of Australian Independent Country Musicians
- Buzz Goertzen - Gospel Yodeler
- Jim "The Orange Yodeler" Dautry, from Chattanooga, TN, also yodels with a Christian bent.
- Young Canadian country singer Robyn Pauhl. She yodels in some of her repertoire.
- Al Beeler - "The Yodeling Cowboy". This site is built and mantained by his son.
- Bobby Kingston, son of Canadian Country Music star Jack Kingston, has moved to Vegas and is following the family trade.
- Frank Ifield, from England by way of Australia.
- Another yodeler operating out of Las Vegas is Ethel Delaney. She was born in Ohio and has performed on WWVA.
- The Topp Twins. They're lesbian, they're Kiwis, and they yodel!
- Wayne Horsburgh, Australian yodeler, appears on EMI's "Yodelling Crazy".
- Ray Charles yodels?!?
- Mark Brine has written and performed a "New Blue Yodel"
- KPFA played "Bloodshot's Turning 5" by Robbie Fulks, a credible job of yodeling in the style of Emmett Miller.
- The Slim Whitman Collectors International site has a sample of Slim's yodel and more information on S. W.
- Cowboy Envy, based in Atlanta, Georgia
- Riddle Me This has a nice bit of yodeling in their song "I'm a Cow". This humorous video probably isn't for consumption by the little kiddies, though.
- Rockin' M Wranglers
- Peter Hinnen is a Swiss yodeler who works in the C&W style. According to this site he held the Guiness record as the world's fastest yodeler - 22 different tones in one second. Yow! Thanks to Claude Aubert for the tip.
- Gospel Yodeler Princess Ramona
- Joy King - Yodelin' in Tennessee
- The SaddleBags are 4th generation Montana ranch gals.
- Mary And Willi Lehner: The Yodeling Cheesemakers of Madison, Wisconsin
- Alabama's Felts Twins - yodeling since the age of 6!
Our C&W Yodeling Forefolk
- The Western Music Association Hall of Fame contains many yodelers.
- A great CD! American Yodeling 1909-1940. The liner notes contain the best English language history of yodeling in the U.S. that I've ever read.
- The DeZurik Sisters - I learned of them from the above CD and their pyrotechnics will peel the wax right off your ears!
- Patsy Montana - a true pioneer woman in Country music. The Cowboy's Sweetheart herself!
- The Western Music Association has an annual contest for Western style yodelers.
- Wilf Carter, Canada's yodeling cowboy.
- Where Dead Voices Gather - a biography on Emmett Miller by the excellent writer who introduced me to him, Nick Tosches.
- Elton Britt
- The Country Meets Blues site has information on Jimmie Rodgers, including a list of all his Blue Yodels.
- Of the scads of Jimmie Rodgers imitators (incl. Jimmie Davis and Gene Autry early in their careers...), Cliff Carlisle still stands out. Besides, Arhoolie is a totally cool record company, so buy his CD.
- A number of yodeling cowboys ended up on the silver screen. CowboyPal is devoted to them.
- Goebel Reeves was a talented blue yodeler who developed his own distinctive style.
- A memorial to Shirley Thoms, Australia's Yodeling Sweetheart. Thanks to John Orr for the tip.
- Schatzie Music - offering all types of Swiss folk music. Hot dog!
- Maker of some of the best Alpine yodeling albums - Tyrolis. Now they have a US distributor site online.
- Some of the first yodeling I ever heard was in "The Silly Song" from Snow White. I can't believe that this page finally unearths the names of the talented yodelers who performed that song.
- Franzl Lang
- Participate in a yodeling contest at Germanfest!
- Hideki Terami assures me that Leavenworth, WA also hosts a yodeling contest. Their site doesn't say exactly when. However, it's pretty interesting to read the history of this town that, without any local Germanic background, decided to "go Bavarian" for tourist purposes.
- Adi, the Yodeling Woodcarver from British Columbia. Adi's site is in German.
- Swiss Yodel in Brisbane - The Swiss Yodel and Folklore Group "Baerg-Roeseli" Inc.
- Swiss Kiwi Yodelers
- The Swiss Yodellers of Western Australia
- Mary Schneider seems to have sold her domain of "yodeling.com". Please let me know if you ever see a website for her. There's a review of Mary's "Yodeling the Classics", a site to buy it, as well as an interesting article.
- The Wild Rose Yodel Club - Swiss Yodeling in Canada
- Swiss Folklore and Swiss Folkmusic - in German.
- New Glarus Yodel Club
- Jodlerfest.com has a good list of yodeling sites even though the descriptions are in French and I can't really read French.
- The Alpenlaenders
- Yodeling groups on the Trio Eugster group of labels can be found by searching on "jodel". - in German.
- Appenzeller Echo - accordion, violin, hammered dulcimer, bass, and yodeling.
- The Sauerkrauts - the powerful combo of polka and yodeling...
- As promotion for the Sound of Music, a yodeling contest was held. I don't know if it's still on as they list 1996 as the date...
- So far, I have found out there are yodel festivals in Bern and Graubünden, Switzerland. The latter takes place in August. You'll have to contact the Swiss Consulate or something for more info, though.
- The Stratton Mountain Boys - Sounds like a bluegrass band, but they're from Vermont and perform Austrian music.
- Lorelei und Schatzi - a Georgia, USA based duo
- Korean language site for fans of Alpine yodeling.
- A lesson plan on Austrian yodeling.
- Eugene Epstein tells why the Swiss yodel.
- French-speaking Swiss tells of the decline of yodeling.
- Yodeling isn't just an white thang...
- Martin Auer asks about Yodeling all over the world. His finished film screened in Vienna, Austria on Oct. 4, 1998.
- Though Stimmhorn is from Switzerland, they don't really do alpine style. They're fairly avant-garde.
- Christine Lauterberg combines yodeling with techno. German language site. Thanks to Claude Aubert for the tip.
- Laura Love's alt-funk-rock yodeling
- Yodeling figures prominently in post-missionary Hawaiian music. Some folks just refer to it as falsetto, but it's yodeling. The Hawaiian language's use of glottal stops means that yodeling makes even more sense for that language.
- Here's Karen Keawehawai`i. She does a traditional yodel tune on her album.
- Gordon Freitas does a Paniola Yodel. Paniolo is the Hawaiian word for "cowboy".
- Yodeling in Indian Film Music?
- Review of Dhoondte Reh Jaaoge seems to confirm Indian yodeling.
- As do the lyrics to "Baabuu Samajho Ishaare Hauran Pukaare Pam Pam Pam" on ITRANS.
- Actually, I remember that there is yodeling in the song Zindagii Ek Safar Hai Suhaanaa as well... A Ugandan band covers it in Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala...
- I was just listening to Annette Hanshaw's "Big City Blues" and noticed that she technically yodels in that song. It's a sound that's like a jazzy version of Jimmie Rodgers' yodels. It's not a showy yodel and it's very slow, so I guess I may be pushing the definition of "yodel".
Yodel Song Lyrics
- She Taught Me To Yodel
- "Hobo's Lullabye"
- A Silly Song - From "Snow White & The Seven Dwarves"
- It's not easy to find lyrics for yodeling songs on the Web, as I found out recently when I tried to get a repertoire together for an Oct. 1998 performance... Thanks to Josef Rempfler of Appenzeller Echo for the lyrics he sent me.
Places to Purchase Yodeling Music
Tell 'em Yodel Central referred you!
- Down Home Music carries Country/Western, Alpine, Hawaiian, Pygmy and other types of yodeling music. Down Home does mail order as well as having a retail store in El Cerrito, CA.
- Roots and Rhythm does mail order only.
- The Music Barn carries Country/Western yodeling.
Last modified on 9/16/02
I used to update something on this site about every two weeks. Unfortunately, things are probably going to be mothballed for a while due to a hellacious flareup of Repetitive Strain Injury. I also had some bad data loss, so if you wrote in before with a suggestion or comment, please write again! There are some folks I would love to keep in touch with, but whose addresses I've lost.
Yak Back to Spidra Webster: spidra at speakeasy dot net