Archive for the ‘whistle’ Category

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They yodel in the USA !: Jimmie Rodgers (V) (1928)

2 August 2009

A few months later, on October 20, 1928, Jimmie Rodgers recorded four songs but this time with the support of a band (Dean Bryan, guitar; C.L. Hutchison, cornet; John Westbrook, steel guitar; James Rikard, clarinet; George MacMillan, string bass). These songs are some of the best he made, with train whistle imitation in Waiting for a Train and a new Blue Yodel.

Between this time and the next session in 1929, he made a short movie and toured in vaudeville shows around the country, mostly in the Southwest because of his tuberculosis. Here’s one of the clips:

Blue Yodel No.4 (Rodgers)

My Carolina Sunshine Girl (Rodgers)

I’m Lonely and Blue (McWilliams – Rodgers)

Waiting for a Train (Rodgers)

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Yodel blues: Winston Holmes

17 May 2009

Winston Holmes is a bit of an enigma. He was probably born around 1898 in Kansas City (Missouri) and was a good looking and restless man. He started a record label, Merritt Records, and was a performer himself. His vocals were energetic, with bird calls, train whistles and yodels. He made some songs with Lottie Kimbrough, a blues singer who made a career in the twenties. You can hear them together on Lost Lover Blues and Wayward Girl Blues.

He also made a session with Charlie Turner playing twelve-string guitar and harmonica on Rounders Lament and The Kansas City Call, with bird calls on both songs and yodel on the second one. No more info about all this, but these yodels are very early examples, at a time where Jimmie Rodgers was popularizing them.

Lost Lover Blues and Wayward Girl Blues (1928 – with Lottie Kimbrough)

Rounders Lament and The Kansas City Call (1929 – with Charlie Turner)

(image from the Yazoo Record Times Ain’t Like They Used To Be, Vol. 1, info and music from the Document cd Kansas City Blues)

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They yodel in the USA !: Tex Owens

15 March 2009

For this week, let’s listen to Tex Owens, an American cowboy yodeler who isn’t very known but his song, Cattle Call was a big hit for Eddy Arnold and dozens of others after him. I’ll write a special post about this song but I first want to present Tex Owens himself. He was born as Doye Hensley Owens in Texas in 1892 and died in 1962… and for the rest of his biography, there is a very good one on All Music Guide, so I won’t rewrite it here. He worked a lot for the radio and played in movies. His daughters became singers too, the oldest one, Laura Lee worked with Bob Wills.

But why did he yodel ? I have no idea, the information about him is really scarce on the internet. He worked as a real cowboy and at that time, almost all the singing cowboys yodeled… And his yodel is beautiful ! But if you have more info, write me.

The songs come from the Bear Family cd, Cattle Call:

recorded August 28, 1934, Chicago, Illinois – Tex Owens: vocal and guitar:

Pride of the prairie

Two sweethearts

Rocking alone in an old rocking chair, no yodel with a nice whistle !

previously unissued demo’s of unknown origin or date:

Cowboy call

While I’m nearly home

Don’t hide your tears my darling

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Interlude of the week (II): Bobbejaan

29 July 2008

And here is a second clip, full of whistling and yodelling. More info on Bobbejaan Schoepen sooner of later…:

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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