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September 18

Can You Beat Takeo Ishii in the Art of Yodeling?

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By now, we are all familiar how yodeling is an indispensable part of Country music’s history. In fact, earlier folk singers and pioneers in country singing have always incorporated it into their songs.

Some of the most notable Country hits with yodels are the following:

The Carter Family in “My Clinch Mountain Home,” Roy Rogers in “Cowboy Night Herd Song,” Hank Williams Sr. in “Long Gone Lonesome Blues,” and “Lovesick Blues,” Patsy Montana in “I want to be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart,” Roy Acuff in “Mule Skinner Blues,” Hank Snow in “Lonesome Blue Yodel, “Jimmie Rodgers in “Blue Yodel No.1 and Gene Autry in “A Yodeling Hobo.”

So far, among contemporary country artists, we have only heard of Jewel Kilcher and Keith Urban yodel in one or some of their stage performances.

Yet, lo and behold! Watch Takeo Ishii, the “Japanese Yodeler” who rose to prominence in Germany for his impressive yodeling skill.

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A Tokyo native, he discovered his love for this ululating sound when he chances to hear of yodelers on the radio.  He then taught himself how to yodel over the noise of vacuum at full speed. Eventually, he went to Germany to further his studies in mechanical engineering where he worked as an entertainer at a Beer Club.  There, he met renowned and legendary yodeler Franzl Lang whom he idolizes since youth. Franz took him and Takeo got his breakthrough performing on German TV. His heydays were the 70s to 80s. He also had found a German wife and they have had five children.

Now, here is an aged Takeo Ishii still yodeling. Yup! Though long retired, he still got it. Talent indeed is innate.

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Also, check his hilarious “Chicken Attack” on YouTube that got more than 12 million views. Let’s see who can top that. Back in the 70s and 80s, he was only famous in Germany, Switzerland and maybe some parts of Europe. But with the release of “Chicken Attack” in January this year on You Tube, Takeo Ishii‘s yodeling has become an internet sensation.

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