Sunday, April 28, 2013

How To Be... a Yodeler

Today is the FREE! release of "Part Twenty: The Sword of Fire" from the Shadow Spinner serialization!
But first: How to be a yodeler!

I think yodeling is one of those things that gets an unnecessarily bad rap. Maybe, it's because of cartoons. No, seriously. Take a look at this old Looney Tunes clip:

I don't think the cartoon was making fun of yodeling, especially considering that it was a popular form of entertainment at the time. Yes, I said it was a popular form of entertainment. People used to pay money to go watch yodelers perform. However, the effect of watching cartoons like this one when I was a kid, especially with Bugs and Elmer yodeling and things like that (which is the clip I wanted but didn't feel like spending any more time than I already had looking for it), was that yodeling became this kind of funny thing people did, but that was it. It was just a funny thing, not a real thing. Except that it is a real thing.

For instance, did you know "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is considered to be the most successful yodeling song ever performed? You know the song, right?

I didn't know that was considered yodeling, but I grew up with that song. It was one of the songs we used to perform with our puppets. We had a big lion puppet and every thing.

Still, that's an old song, but, surprise, surprise, many contemporary artists use yodeling within their music. You might recognize some of these names: Celine Dion, Gwen Stefani, Jewel, and Mariah Carey. Just to name a few. And, then, there's the people you might not expect that can yodel: Julie Andrews (okay, you probably expected her), Gene Wilder, and Bill Murray. I suppose yodeling's not quite as dead as people might think.

So, then, how do you become a yodeler?

Mostly, it's just practice. There are people that give lessons, evidently, but they are few and far between (probably rather like the accordion), so listening to yodelers and learning on your own will most likely be your best bet. Unless you live in the Alps.

Here we are at part 20 of Shadow Spinner, and can I just say "Wow"? Yeah? Okay. Wow! Of course, I'm looking ahead at the parts still to come and how much longer that will be till the last piece is released, but, still, 20 parts. There are some big changes coming up with Tib and his world, not the least of which is the imminent (I hope) release of the physical book, but more on that when I have more details. For today, you'll have to be satisfied with FREE! stuff, so here's today's list of FREE! pieces. Tell all your friends!
"Part Twenty: The Sword of Fire" (FREE! Monday, April 29 and Tuesday, April 30)
(The rest of these are only FREE! Monday, April 29)
"Part Nineteen: Lost in the Garden"
"Part Eighteen: The Angel"
"Part Seventeen: The Tree of Light"
"Part Thirteen: The Clearing"
"Part Twelve: The Gash in the Floor"
"Part Eleven: The Kiss"
"Part Ten: The Broken Window"
"Part Nine: The Shadow of the Tree"
"Part Seven: The Moth and the Shadow"
"Part Six: The Man with No Eyes"
"Part Five: The Police Car"
"Part Four: The Cop"
"Part Three: The Bedroom"
"Part One: The Tunnel"
That's it for today. 15 out of the 20 pieces of Shadow Spinner completely FREE! Go by and pick them up, and let me know how you like them. On Amazon, even!


  1. My third-grade teacher yodeled.

    I suspect that at least part of becoming a yodeler is not being afraid to look ridiculous.

  2. I had no idea the song from the Lion King was considered Yodeling. Wow you learn something new everyday

  3. There's all sorts of yodeling classes in Switzerland. I've often wondered what it would be like to take one and stand on one of those mountain tops doing it.

  4. Really? "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is a yodeling song? I had no idea.

    Yodeling was challenge on the Amazing Race one season, but it was a lot harder than "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"

  5. Now that you mention it, I can hear the yodeling in that song.

  6. The best news is part 20 is out. And I'm getting caught up -- I should be up to part 20 by the end of the week.

    But the second best news? I know another yodel song:

    It's "Una Paloma Blanca," by The George Baker Selection!

  7. I am waiting for the complete book before I read any more. I don't plan to learn yodelling either.


  8. I've recently quit writing to become a professional yodeler. The album will be out next month. Move over, Mariah Carey!

  9. I always have visions of yodelers' Adams Apples doing summersaults. I don't think mine is equipped for that kind of gymnastic maneuver.

  10. You should have included a clip of you yodeling.

  11. I love when artists yodel in songs. Lots of that in bluegrass music (one of my favorite genres).

  12. I was wondering what the heck you'd do for Y. Nice choice, man!

  13. Callie: Or sound ridiculous.

    J Keith: yeah, I didn't either.

    T.: I think that would be rather cool.

    Sheena: Too much fun, perhaps?

    JKIR,F!: Yeah, my throat won't do that.

    M.J.: It was a surprise to me.

    Alex: Me, too; I'd just never thought of it like that before.

    Briane: I'll take a listen to that.

    Jo: Soon!

    ABftS: Well... That's great and terrible news. (I should just leave it at that and let you work out what that means.) Can't you do both?

    C.Lee: Hmm... Now I want to watch someone yodeling and see what's happening.

    Michael: Um... not just "no"...

    S.L.: I don't listen to a lot of bluegrass, although I don't dislike it.

    Matt: It was better than yak throwing.

  14. I think Tarzan was a trained yodeler.

  15. I remember some of those old cartoons.

  16. I also did not know that "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" was a yodeling song. I've sung lead on that one in concert. Does that mean I've yodeled, unwittingly?

  17. I love the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight - did not know that!

  18. L.G.: There was a mention of Tarzan in some of the stuff I looked it, but, usually, it said the Tarzan call is "yodel-like." I didn't actually check the actor.

    Bob: Me, too!

    TAS: Maybe... maybe...

    Kimberly: It was cool to find out.

  19. I remember those old Slim Whitman albums they used to advertise on -that- was a yodeler :)

    I'll definitely check out some of the Shadow Spinner tale...looks very interesting.

  20. Wow. Yodeling was popular. I did not expect that.

  21. Mark: Well, -I- think that it is.

    Jeanne: It was. Like a major form of entertainment.

  22. Wasn't one of the Clampetts an accomplished yodeler? Obviously, I'm gassed. Been up all night doing that Z post. Schnitzels!

  23. Interesting, I didn't know that was yodeling either! I can hear it now that you've said it though!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog:

  24. Kristen: That was my reaction, too.

  25. I was all set to say, "That's not an old song!," but then I had to really think about it!

    Man. I never realized they yodeled. I just thought it was fancy screaming, LOL!