- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Mascot Books; 1 edition (June 6, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1684010209
- ISBN-13: 978-1684010202
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Find Your Whistle Hardcover – June 6, 2017
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I first met Chris in 1994 when he whistled on the Today Show. I was smiling then and he's made me smile again with this sweet and heartwarming memoir. --Katie Couric
Chris' book is well worth reading. his main point, so gracefully and humorously told, is that by having the skill to whistle in a way that creates joy in the world, he is doing what others can and should do: find their own whistle and use that skill or talent to bring happiness and pleasure to others. --David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, The Carlyle Group
With Find Your Whistle, Chris Ullman has penned a memoir that hits all the right notes. Told in a warm and witty style, Chris writes a compelling tale of his lifelong journey to become a world champion whistler and how he's used that skill to make the world a little brighter and happier. --Daniel F. Akerson, former Chairman and CEO, General Motors
About the Author
Christopher Ullman is a four time national and international whistling champion. He has performed with major symphony orchestras, serenaded President George W. Bush in the Oval Office, whistled the national anthem at major league sporting events, and entertained millions around the world on TV and radio. In what Chris describes as a ministry, he whistles Happy Birthday more than 400 times each year to friends and family. Chris started his puckered pursuits at age five, whistled incessantly while delivering newspapers as a teen, jammed with jazz bands in college, and worked the open mike circuit in his Washington, DC home in the 1980s-90s. He has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, CNN, NPR, CNBC, and been featured in The New York Times, People Magazine, The Washington Post, and Time Magazine. His repertoire includes classical, blues, jazz, Broadway, and rock. In 2003, Chris released his debut CD, The Symphonic Whistler, and in 2012 he was inducted into the International Whistling Hall of Fame. By day he is a Director of Global Communications at The Carlyle Group, an investment firm based in Washington, DC.
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His parents bought him "120 Music Masterpieces" when he was in the single digits. He loves to practice and explore new approaches and refine them. He is open to constructive criticism. It moves toward the goal. Constant improvement is the key to success. A competitive spirit helps. Do well or someone else will do well in your place. Whistling lifts his heart whether walking, delivering newspapers or in his workshop. Music is like a drug for him and whistling is an effective delivery device.
If there's a hog calling contest and hollerin, why not one for whistling? He has won four grand champion titles and has been inducted into the International Whistling Hall of Fame. He has been featured in the documentary Pucker Up: The Art of Fine Whistling. He was judged on technical ability (key, pitch, range), interpretative ability (arrangement of the piece and artistry) and stage presence. By his estimates, 10 percent of the whistlers were terrible, 30 percent were a little better than your average whistler, 50 percent were good to excellent and 10 percent were the best in the world. He has learned competing can be about ego, principle or bragging rights. Whistling has to have a great melody, diversity of tempos and instruments and showcase abilities. There has to be the capacity for the tune to be arranged in a memorable way. It has to be the right length, tolerable without anyone going insane. The feelings must be positive, immediate and genuine, like a crush. Get it right the first time.
"Whistle While You Work" from Snow White and "I Whistle A Happy Tune" from The King and I are basic whistling songs. He is known for whistling for birthdays. You are special. Your life has value; the world is better because you are here. A birthday is your entrance into the world. This is a constant source of joy for him, an IV of happiness. He never grows tired of it. There's the standard bday version, 50s rendition, heavy metal and reggae. He's whistled from the bathroom of a taxiing jet, airports, rest stops on his bike rides, from bed and at wedding receptions. Some are to complete strangers. He's donated packages to charity auctions. He has a CD, the Symphonic Whistler. Do friends buy to be supportive or feel obligated and sorry for him, asked his wife. He kept calling on one boy's birthday and did not know he died until much later and the parents thought he was doing it to honor his memory. He apologized, but was told his whistling encouraged the sick child to whistle. Please keep leaving the birthday whistle message, the parents said.
In D.C., his friends were conservatives. In NYC, liberals. Liberals went with feel-good songs and conservatives went with guns and laws tunes when he asked for requests of either the Lone Ranger song or In the Mood.
Good politicians latch onto some trait or accomplishment when they meet someone so when they encounter them later they can say that when introducing to other people. Paul Ryan did this of him.
He's been called upon without much notice--at a job interview, for one. He said there was no turning back to port now. The ship was ready to sail; hopefully with a better outcome than the Titanic.
He has been on the Today Show with Katie Couric, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, but when introduced to Newt Gingrich by John Kasich in an elevator, Gingrich was not interested. He was on Equal Time with Mary Matalin and Dee Dee Myers. At a budget showdown, he was called upon to whistle by Majority Leader Dick Armey who wanted to fight and had Ullman provide the battle cry. News stories never mentioned his role. He was the "stealth whistler." He would cold call bands and venues and had a 60 percent success rate.
When he worked at Carlyle, the motto was Hang around the Hoop--never write off an opportunity after having been rebuffed. Sometimes the ball bounces in your direction. Put yourself in the right position and good things will happen eventually. There's a friend of his who can come up with a solution to any challenge. Throw a road block his way and he will leap over it. Give him a ream of blank paper and he will write a book.
His child said whistling saves lives. He knew it could be delightful and annoying, but a powerful elixir? A very sick man was healed later on after he whistled for him.
He hasn't cured cancer or climbed Everest blind or invented a widget that changed the world. But he presents a common skill in unusual ways, touching people's hearts and tickling their funny bones. He injects joy and humanity into otherwise serious situations. He found his whistle, which was literally a whistle. He can entertain and inspire audiences. He said one of these days may be none of these days. You should find your whistle.
We can go through life thinking the world owes us something or we can focus on earned success. He believes the latter is so much more satisfying.
Discipline begets achievement, which begets pleasure, which encourages more discipline because pleasure is desirable. Less-disciplined people are stuck in a negative feedback loop. Short-term thinking yields problems, which require solving, which distract from their long-term goals, which set them back even further financially and emotionally, which yields more pleasure-centric short-term behavior and so on. He says he is 7.5 percent disciplined. Think of Olympians up at 4:15 a.m.
He uses this line: It's only 9 a.m. I am thankful I didn't have to wrestle a four-foot shark into my raft, stab it in the eye with a screwdriver and then eat its raw liver for breakfast.
This pertained to me because I'm one, too. As a professional spokesman, he's long said that he is one bad quote away from losing his job. As a professional communicator, he is wed to the written and spoken word. Planes that crash make news. Planes that land safely do not. Heroism, like plane crashes is rare; that's why it attracts attention.
Chris Ullman proves that nice guys can finish first. It was great to read an uplifting book in a world too often full of negativity. This is a lesson in making your own life more meaningful while making the world a better place. It’s a great read for all ages and walks of life. Perhaps best of all, Ullman is a great storyteller, so it’s a fun and fast read.