This blog is dedicated to yodel, all the yodels from around the world. So here we begin.
Yes, they yodel in India, in Bollywood movies, the biggest film industry in the world, where songs and music are predominent.
Kishore Kumar (1929-1987) was one of these playback singers in the Indian film industry, as well as an actor, producer, composer among other things. He didn’t have a formal training in singing and first copied other singers but after advice of the composer and music director S.D. Burman, he tried to develop his own style. Beside a wonderful voice, yodelling became his trademark.
How did he discover yodel ? It’s not usual in India. Here’s the story: his brother Anoop went to Austria and bought some records with yodels there. One day when Anoop went home, he heard yodelling in the house and tought somebody was playing his records… but it was Kishore who had learned how to do it. Like Bart Plantenga says in The Rough Guide to Yodel: “Kumar had no professional vocal training – he just winged it, lending his yodelling an untutored abandon and avian robustness, as he mixed odd babbling jazz-scat, bird calls and Western-style yodel flourishes into the rhythms.”
The first song, Thandi hawa yeh chandni suhani comes from the 1961 film Jhumroo, a sad love story set in a hilly region of India, where Kishore Kumar actually plays the part of Jhumroo.
Chala jata hoon was sung in Mere Jeevan Saathi, a 1972 film that tells the story of a doctor who is caught up with his past (but that’s only the beginning of the story, Bollywood movies are known for their complicated stories). There is no real yodel in this song but a lovely falsetto voice.
Kishore Kumar – Thandi hawa yeh chandni suhani
Kishore Kumar – Chala jata hoon
And as a bonus, the first song as seen in the movie: