A Cavalcade of Yodelers and Fauxdelers
Beth Berkelhammer
Saturday, June 8, 2013, 3:00pm
Music 4 - Room #330

Around the globe for centuries or more, from the Baka people of Central Africa to the Bulgarians and the cowboys of the American West, folks have yodeled. They've yodeled over plains and mountaintops, across backyard fences and tenement breezeways, to alert the tribe, hail a neighbor, get their point across, let off steam. Or just for the fun of it. Some notable yodelers in the American tradition include Emmett Miller, Jimmie Rodgers, the Hanks (Williams and Snow), the Slims (Clark and Whitman), the Hollywood cowboys (Gene Autry, Roy Rogers), cowgirl Patsy Montana, and rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson. Early rock 'n' roller Bill Haley, later of the Comets, first made his mark as a yodeler. Julie Andrews along with all those Trapp Family children and some scary goat marionettes yodeled-which could be why even the Muppets, yes, yodeled.

Our featured yodelers will include Jeanie Poling, the Bay Area's sweetest-voiced honky-tonk angel, of Jeanie and Chuck's Country Roundup (Jeanie and Chuck perform on Sunday at 4:00 on the Woody Guthrie Stage); the legendary Lonesome Chuck Wheeler, who can croon a cowboy song like none other; Toshio Hirano, known for his fine renditions of the songs of Jimmie Rodgers (Toshio and Mountain Dojo will perform on Sunday at 4:40 in the Pete Seeger Room); Mylos Sonka, Western Swing Hall of Famer and bandleader of the hot and swinging cow-jazz dance band, the Lonestar Retrobates; and Emily Bonn, featured singer of the Retrobates and leader of her own American roots-oriented band, Emily Bonn and the Vivants.

Whether you're a virtuosic yodeler, enjoy a bit of fauxdeling in the shower, thrill to the sound of others tearing on a tonsil, or simply want to be a witness to history, come join us. For most of the hour, we'll be treated to mini-sets by our posse of local yodeling luminaries. And while this is not a "learn to yodel" workshop, we may glean some tips from our panel of experts. We should have time for a few yodel-alongs, as well. So come prepared to just listen, sing along, or lead a favorite of your own. (Immediately after the session, in the same room, the Jimmie Rodgers Song Swap will offer more opportunities for yodeling and fauxdeling, so plan to make it a Saturday double-header.)

Few could be as ill-equipped to lead this workshop as Beth Berkelhammer, who has searched sporadically for her yodel over the years and come up empty-handed. Fortunately, she has a crackerjack Rolodex brimming over with folks who really know their way around a uvula, and she was able to wrangle a passel of them willing to sign on and make this workshop possible. She is very grateful.