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Do they yodel in the USA ?: “She taught me to yodel”

6 April 2008

Elton Britt

Why not begin with a little yodel lesson ? I could use the one by Cathy Fink but it is easy to find on The rough guide to yodel. So this is an older song, from the fifties I suppose, and hundred of artists have recorded this song around the world since then. The original version of She taught me to yodel is from Elton Britt, a yodelling jazzy cowboy crooner. I couldn’t find any recording date, just the number on RCA Victor (20-3092), but I suppose it’s from the end of the forties or the beginning of the fifties. He demonstrates here his ability to sustain rapid voice-breaks. Other songs where he’s at his best will come soon. Kenny Roberts, Britt’s protégé, did a more exuberant version in 1953 on the Coral label, he was encouraged by him to learn the song and make it evolve. It become a world wide hit in 1962 when Frank Ifield, an australian english country and easy listening singer, recorded it, still influenced by Britt. He made it a yodellling virtuoso piece with the final verse sung at double-speed. More versions to come.

Elton Britt – She taught me to yodel

Kenny Roberts – She taught me to yodel

Frank Ifield – Variation on “She taught me to yodel”

and to end, a nice clip from Diane Jewitt (no info about her) recorded in 1959 at Town Hall Party. I suppose it comes from the dvd edited by Bear Family. It’s the same song, with a little difference: He taught me to yodel.

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5 comments

  1. Kenny Roberts’s version is just phenomenal!

    Frank Ifield also recorded a German version (“So leicht lernt man das Jodeln”), where he tells the story of how he learned to yodel in Appenzell, Switzerland, after having drunk too much “Enzian,” a local alcoholic drink.

    And then there is a Hawaiian version of it by Gary Haleamau. I was fortunate enough to see his Millenium Stage performance at the Kennedy Center a few weeks ago. All the shows are archived, so if you like to hear Gary Haleamau’s verion, go to
    http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/
    and search the archives for Gary Haleamau. This will bring up a video of his August 20, 2008, performance. The yodeling (with a touch of Hawaiian falsetto style singing) starts at minute 58:00, and you can just drag the slider to the right if you don’t want to see/hear the whole show.


  2. Thanks for the info !


  3. While surfing the web, I came across this (regarding Frank Ifield):

    http://unclegil.blogspot.com/2008/09/jingle-jangle-jingle.html


  4. Thanks for the link !


  5. Awsome info and lovely selection!



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