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Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0415939904 ISBN-10: 0415939909 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 2, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415939909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415939904
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.7 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Wait a minute. Yodeling spans the globe? Not only Alpine sheepherders and American cowboys do it (or, if they're gentlemen, don't)? Guess its history is secret, even if its performance never could be. Plantenga, a novelist and DJ rather than an academic, starts his survey, predictably, in Switzerland and Alpine Germany and Austria, but then proceeds to (often) lower elevations: the Low Countries, Central Europe, the Balkans, Scandinavia, and Italy; then India, Hawaii and the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand (figures: they got cowboys, too); then Africa and Latin America--all before getting to Anglo North America. For each place, he describes the kind of yodeling done there and, in generous sidebars, notes great practitioners, especially those who have been recorded. The last two chapters are concerned with yodeling's crossover into funk, rap, and techno. Who'da thunk? Plantenga's presentation is rather scrappy, sometimes reading like downloaded, spell-checked research notes, but his fascination with yodeling is contagious, making this a honey of a folk-and-pop-fans' browse. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

The hills are alive with the ululations of centuries of yodelers, whose echoes persist undyingly. Bart Plantenga shows how yodeling, which may be encoded in our DNA, is humanity's most open secret, linking Swabian and Farsi, mountain and atoll, cowboy and jazzbo. Like an errant carnival ride, his book is fun, head-spinning, and ontologically profound. -- Luc Sante
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. Grade: B
. -- Entertainment Weekly
For 150-year-old academic publisher Routledge, a major release is usually a heavy classroom tome. But this fall it found itself with an uncharacteristic hit: Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World ($20), by radio deejay Bart Plantenga, which has attracted an audience of hipsters that, says Marketing Director Frederic Nachbaur, has helped it sell more copies than many Routledge titles do in an entire run. The book traces the singing style to such unlikely places as Central Africa and Mexico, and dishes on its various adherents. Everyone from Sly and the friggin' Family Stone, the Fugees, De La Soul . . . to even the Velvet Underground have used yodels, Plantenga says.
. -- Washington Post
For 150-year-old academic publisher Routledge, a major release is usually a heavy classroom tome. But this fall it found itself with an uncharacteristic hit: Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World ($20), by radio deejay Bart Plantenga, which has attracted an audience of hipsters that, says Marketing Director Frederic Nachbaur, has helped it sell more copies than many Routledge titles do in an entire run. The book traces the singing style to such unlikely places as Central Africa and Mexico, and dishes on its various adherents. Everyone from Sly and the friggin' Family Stone, the Fugees, De La Soul . . . to even the Velvet Underground have used yodels, Plantenga says.

. -- Washington Post
Writing like the manic, gonzo son of Nick Tosches, Plantenga here crams into his text just about everything one would ever want to know and then some about yodeling and yodelers. A DJ and amateur musicologist, he intends to trace yodeling from its Swiss origins to the upper registers of country, funk, folk, and pop, among other genres. As a thoroughly entertaining, throttle-at-the-red-line ride through the history of the various discrete styles of yodeling,this book scores a ton of points. The bibliography is thorough, and the annotated listening lists are highly eclectic and full of insight. Highly recommended for all public libraries and for academic libraries with significant popular culture or world music collections
. -- Library Journal Reviews, Nov. 2003, James E. Perone
Both a serious study of the history of yodeling, and a fun look at how this unique sound has worked its way into popular culture...promises to be a classic for fans of music and pop culture


. -- BookSense, Dec. 2003
Plantenga cracks the secret history of yodeling wide open. -- Vanity Fair, Dec. 2003
Solid, exhaustive look at yodeling. -- Alanna Nash, Entertainment Weekly
The British-Irish folk music/American country link is common knowledge, but the provenance and, goddammit, appeal of the yodel in country (and, claims, Plantenga, rap, reggae, ambient and rock music) remains a mystery. Tackling his subject manfully and opting for humor over academia, he wrangles it into a Rough Guide-like format, with pull-outs on key figures and artifacts and a useful glossary (epiglotissary?) of terms
. -- Sylvie Simmons, Mojo Magazine
Like its subject, this history of the yodel is both goofy and heroic. Plantenga unearths loads of historical data about the yodel, from its origins in Appalachia to its secret presence in modern pop, with stops in Germany, Latin America (where Tarzan's yell receives an entertaining sidebar) and, of course, American country music. Plantenga's style is breezy and ingratiating and he wisely refuses to treat yodeling or yodelers as a joke. An excellent treatment of an underdiscussed subject
. -- Michaelangelo Matos, Rolling Stone Magazine
Solid, exhaustive look at yodeling. Alanna Nash, Entertainment Weekly


. -- Alanna Nash, Entertainment Weekly
Plantenga cracks the secret history of yodeling wide open

. -- Vanity Fair, Dec. 2003
The British-Irish folk music/American country link is common knowledge, but the provenanceand, goddammit, appeal of the yodel in country (and, claims, Plantenga, rap, reggae, ambient and rock music) remains a mystery. Tackling his subject manfully and opting for humor over academia, he wrangles it into a Rough Guide-like format, with pull-outs on key figures and artifacts and a useful glossary (epiglotissary?) of terms. -- Sylvie Simmons, Mojo Magazine
Like its subject, this history of the yodel is both goofy and heroic. Plantenga unearths loads of historical data about the yodel, from its origins in Appalachia to its secret presence in modern pop, with stops in Germany, Latin America (where Tarzan's yell receives an entertaining sidebar) and, of course, American country music. Plantenga's style is breezy and ingratiating and he wisely refuses to treat yodeling or yodelers as a joke. An excellent treatment of an underdiscussed subject. -- Michaelangelo Matos, Rolling Stone Magazine
It is all fascinating reading. -- Matt Rogalsky, Musicworks
It is all fascinating reading
. -- Matt Rogalsky, Musicworks

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo is the first book to provide an analysis of the art of yodeling as a world-wide phenomenon. From the Swiss mountains to the African Pygmies and beyond, this provides regional surveys of yodeling styles and yodelers, showing that the art has its roots in many countries and throughout the musical world. Add discographies of featured yodelers and you have a lively reference unparalleled in the music industry.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. Horton on May 15, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is exhaustive, exhausting, and huge fun. The author, Bart P., has researched yodeling better than any human being in his right mind should, and that statement should tell you a lot about the author. His style is comprehensive, engaging, and humorous, always treating yodeling lovingly but never, _ever_ taking it too seriously.

If you are a yodeling fan you should have already stopped and ordered this book. If you are not one - go ahead and read it - it will turn you into one whether you like it or not.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janet McBride on December 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the best book out there to find yodelers
around the world. it is outstanding thanks to writer.
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