Archive for May, 2008


Do they yodel at the Eurovision ? (IV): Belgium 1957

27 May 2008

As a nice ending for this year’s posts about the Eurovision, let me introduce you to Bobbejaan Schoepen. I’ll talk more about him later (he is a fine Belgian yodeler and has a new album out) but here is a prologue.

Bobbejaan Schoepen represented Belgium in the second edition of the Eurovision in 1957. The rules were completely different at the time: the song had to be in one of the languages of the country and was sung live with an orchestra. No eurotrash or eurobeat at that time ! There’s no yodel in the song but he can whistle so well ! It ended up at the 8th place, out of 10 countries.

Bobbejaan Schoepen – Straatdeuntje


Do they yodel at the Eurovision ? (III): Austria 2005

27 May 2008

The 2008 edition of the Eurovision is over, and the winner is Dima Bilan from Russia. Not really my favorite but what can you do against the power of Eastern Europe. And another deception: no yodels this year. Let’s hope next year it will be the next craze !

So let’s go back three years ago in Kiev, Ukraine with the entry of Austria, Y asi from Global Kryner. The yodeler of the group is Sebastian Fuchsberger. They played in the semi-final and ended up 21st of 25 countries. This failure caused the withdrawal of Austria from the contest for the next year. But it wasn’t a bad song, it was very popular amongst fans and the group is still making albums. The song mixes alpine brass, salsa and yodelling and is about a Cuban girl who falls in love with an Austrian boy.

This is a part of the lyrics:

The girl from Cuba fell in love
The boy, she’d adore
Could dance and sing … and more
He was the master of the Yodel
His was unique
Oh he was so smart
She danced and won his heart

Global Kryner – Y asi


Do they yodel at the Eurovision ? (II): Switzerland 1977

22 May 2008

It’s obvious that you will find yodelling in the Swiss entries for the Eurovision. In 1977, the Pepe Lienhard Band sang Swiss lady, composed by Peter Reber from the Swiss trio Peter, Sue & Marc. The group members at that time were Pepe Lienhard, Pino Gasparini (who’d represent the country also in 1985), Bill von Arx, Georges Walther, Mostafa Kafa’i Azimi (at the alphorn !) and Christian von Hoffmann (I you want to know what Pepe Lienhard is doing now, go here). Even if they only finished at the 6th place, it had a lot of succes in Europe.

Pepe Lienhard Band – Swiss lady

For the Eurovision, I’ll post youtube videos… so you can appreciate the nice choreographies and beautiful costumes !


Do they yodel at the Eurovision ? (I): Intro

22 May 2008

Every year there is this über-camp, magnificent and extremely kitsch show in Europe (even if I wonder if Azerbaijan is still Europe ?): the Eurovision Song Contest. The big finale is this saturday 24th of May, with two semi-final on tuesday and thursday. And as strange as it seems, no Eurovision is complete without yodelling, well almost (I didn’t find one yet this year).

I will try to make a list of entries with yodel over the years but first a song about the contest by Neil Innes, an English writer and performer of comedy songs. And there is a yodel ! On his site you can find the lyrics and chords.

Neil Innes – Mr. Eurovision


Do they yodel in Austria ? Hotel Palindrone

19 May 2008

Austria is in the Alps, there is yodel, but my first exemple won’t be the traditional yodel. Hotel Palindrone is an Austrian group that defines their music as “Alpine EuRoots fusion”. Using lots of different instrument like bagpipes, jew’s harps, bombarde (from Brittany), hurdy-gurdy, nyckelharpa, guitars, saxophones…, they combine the folk traditions of Europe with a predominance of Austrian sounds. At the same time, their music is full of lively and playful contemporary elements, with a bit of jazz and classic music.

On two songs of their last album, Dial 1702, they yodel, well Albin Paulus yodels. From the liner notes, it seems that his yodel is quite legendary. For other songs, you can go here.

Hotel Palindrone:

Landler 1702

Almschrei & Lydischer Schleuniger


Can yodel save the world ?: “Indian love call”

11 May 2008

Do yo remember the end of the Tim Burton movie Mars Attacks! ? When you see that the martians can’t stand the falsetto/yodel of the favorite song of the grandmother ? This song is Indian love call by Slim Whitman (1924- ). He also sings I’m casting my lasso towards the sky (with yodel) in the movie. He had a very laid-back, romantic singing style, a kind of fusion of country and crooner vocal style.

Slim Whitman (born Otis Dewey Whitman Jr) grew up in a Christian family, poor but loving. His father enjoyed listening to the radio, and the young Slim was exposed to the music of Gene Autry and Jimmie Rodgers, the Sons of the Pioneers and Wilf Carter. Like many others, it was Jimmie Rodgers who caused Slim to experiment with yodelling and he found out at a very early age that he could do it !

He had learned to play guitar in the Navy during the war, and was also a semi-professional baseball player. He began a musical career after the war, signed a record deal in 1949 with RCA and then in 1952 with the Imperial label, whose first major succes came with Slim Whitman: he could yodel and that was enough to sell discs ! His first Top 10 country hit was Love song of the waterfall with poweful falsetto phrase that stops just before a full yodel (the song was used in another movie with aliens: Close Encounters of the Third Kind !). But his major succes came in July 1952 with Indian love call, a song from a 1920s operetta, Rose Marie, written by Rudolph Friml with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein and Otto Harbach. It sold a million copies and was his first release in the UK. From the same session, China doll has a superb falsetto also.

From a subsequent session, there is By the waters of the Minnetonka, that begins with a great falsetto, a bit like in Indian love call. This song is very difficult to sing but Slim Whitman did it to perfection.

And to end a real yodel: There’s a rainbow in every teardrop, one of his own compositions (probably from 1954), with an extended yodel at the end of the song.

– – May the yodel be with you – –

Slim Whitman:

Indian love call

I’m casting my lasso toward the sky

Love song of the waterfall

China doll

By the waters of the Minnetonka

There’s a rainbow in every teardrop


Do they yodel in Korea ?: Rain

4 May 2008

This week in Time, there’s a list with the most influential people in the world. On the second place is Rain, a Korean pop idol. He’s also in the Most beautiful people list of People Magazine.

Why talk about him in this blog ? Because of the song of the film I’m a cyborg but that’s OK where he yodels… The pop star had a lot of learning to do for this movie: it’s his first movie so he took acting lessons but also table tennis lessons and yodelling lessons. He had to practice for three months with a vocal coacher. Here’s a clip of the dreamy sequence:


Yodel on WFMU

4 May 2008

On WFMU this week: 18 yodels and even  bird impersonations.