Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo How did an ancient Swiss mountain tradition evolve into an American country-music staple? That's only one of the questions Plantenga seeks to answer in his… Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo How did an ancient Swiss mountain tradition evolve into an American country-music staple? That's only one of the questions Plantenga seeks to answer in his… Nonfiction
Book Review

Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo (Holiday 2003)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Writer: Bart Plantega; Genre: Nonfiction

How did an ancient Swiss mountain tradition evolve into an American country-music staple? That's only one of the questions Plantenga seeks to answer in his solid, exhaustive look at yodeling, a high-pitched ululation good for herding cows, marketing Tarzan, and inflicting Martian brain melt in a Tim Burton film. Moving beyond the kitsch factor, the author credits Jimmie Rodgers, the tubercular Singing Brakeman, for siring Nashville's infatuation with this Alpine cry; notes that real cowboys probably didn't yodel before Gene Autry; and tracks the warble as far as Bollywood and New Zealand.

Originally posted Dec 12, 2003 Published in issue #741 Dec 12, 2003 Order article reprints
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