Kerry Christensen - Alpine and Western Yodeling Master


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Utah County Journal - Sunday, 7 May 1995

Editor's Choice

Yodeler to Sing Monday

by Doc Taylor

Music is one of the world's best mood enhancers and mood changers. I have a special appreciation for music that makes me smile. Many kinds of music can lift my spirits along with the corners of my mouth: Good banjo pickin', good fiddlin', good madrigal singing, good Dixieland, good bagpiping and, most especially, good yodeling.

Few things in the world gladden the heart quite like a good yodel or two. The few misguided, benighted souls who do not enjoy good yodeling (and good bagpiping) are simply lagging behind in the adventure and progress of life, sadly deficient in an essential element of jollity.

Here's a chance to catch up. If good yodeling makes you smile, Kerry Christensen will have you grinning from ear to ear. Christensen is not just a good yodeler, he is a superb yodeler, a king among yodelers. Yodeling masters such as Christensen and his ilk have elevated what began as a fairly crude means of long distance Alpine communiation to an art form, a dazzling display of vocal acrobatics and pyrotechnics.

This is an opportunity to hear a world-class musician with an unusual and delightful specialty. Christensen estimates there are only two other full-time yodelers in the United States and fewer than 10 European yodelers who specialize in the especially dazzling bravour style of yodeling.

Christensen's last tabernacle performance attracted an enthusiastic SRO crowd, so an early arrival would probably be wise.

Yodeling music is a people's art form, accessible and enjoyable. Even among the masters, each individual yodeler has a style of his own, so this is really a one-of-a-kind opportunity.

Christensen is always expanding his yodeling horizons. Some of the things he will probably do Monday night can be heard nowhere else in the world. How about yodeling to the William Tell Overture? How about yodeling in a major key? How about yodeling to that most American of tunes, the Stars and Stripes Forever?

Christensen tells me he is beginning to experiment with jazz yodeling.

I can barely wait.

The Daily Herald - 9 June 1995

 


March 13th, 2009

Ripon California Arts League

Community concert endorsement

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m pleased to write this letter of support on behalf of Kerry Christensen. Mr. Christensen performed in our community recently and did an outstanding job. First, a brief note about the Ripon Arts League. Run by a 16 member volunteer board, the RAL as it is known, is in it’s 15th season offering the greater Ripon area which includes Ripon, Manteca, and Modesto area of California with quality performances in a variety of musical genres. Each year we present 5-6 concerts to our some 650 subscribing members. Every 5 yeasrs , our members vote for the top groups who have performed and they are invited back for an encore performance. Kerry Christensen, was selected in our Top 5 performers out of more than 25 groups in the last 5 years. He was surpassed by only the Sons of the San Joaquin, and, The Duttons of Bransom, Missouri.

Originally, when we booked Kerry Christensen, he came highly recommended but some of our selection committee members were concerned that the “master yodeler” might be too restrictive of a show. What was initially a concern was quickly erased when Kerry began his show. His experience as an entertainer at Disney World in Florida became readily apparent. We found Mr. Christensen to be an outstanding musician, performer and entertainer.

Here are some of our reasons: (1) Mr. Christensen is very talented as a singer and musician. His skill on the accordian is excellent. His mouth trumpet songs a la Louis Armstrong were superb, (2) unlike our initial concern that we were in for an evening strictly of yodeling, Kerry has considerable diversity in his performance. Concert attendees came away saying to members of our board that this was one of the best concerts they had ever attended. Kerry performed traditional Swiss, Bavarian, Scandinavian tunes. He performed cowboy, Hawaiian, jazz—truly a gifted talent. (3) Mr. Christensen is a great entertainer. He related well to our audience and that rapport turned in to a super enjoyable evening. As a small indicator, during intermission and after the show a large number of CD’s were sold as evidence of the audience’s enjoyment of Kerry. (4) Kerry is easy to work with and that makes it very helpful to the sponsoring community concert group. It was a breeze working with Kerry and it provided a proper closure for our 2007-08 concert series .

I highly recommend Kerry Christensen for your consideration. He will be returning to Ripon on March 13, 2009 as part of our 15th anniversary “encore performance” series along with the Sons of the San Joaquin, the Limeliters and others.

If I can be of help, please feel free to contact me.

Dr. Christopher L. Oase, President and Program Chair


Yodeler was Fabulous

A special thanks to yodeler Kerry Christensen and his daughter Emilie for a special evening of music on May 8 in the Provo Tabernacle. I felt very privileged along with many fans, to enjoy such a wonderful evening.

I have a great appreciation for music, as I have sung all my life. My grandmother was Swiss, also a professional yodeler. My 16-year-old son purchsed all of Kerry's and Emilie's tapes to give to me on Mother's Day. I will treasure them forever.

Also, thanks to the Provo City Council for such a great evening.

Sydna Rae Bohnet

 


Country Musical Trails Less Traveled - March/April 1998

Kerry Christensen: Master Yodeler

by P. Jay Taylor

I don't claim to be an expert on the subject of yodeling, but I do enjoy it, and I have heard some really excellent yodelers from many parts of the world such as Elton Britt, Wilf Carter, Slim Clark, Stew Clayton, Rex Dallas, Ethel Delaney, Buss Goertzen, Patsy Montana, Kenny Roberts, New Zealand's "Yodeling Man" Roger Tibbs, and Harry Torrani--just to name a few. But as I said when I plugged Kerry's tapes almost a year ago, I have never heard the likes of western and Swiss yodeling that came out of Kerry Christensen! He "brought down the house" at the Western Music Festival.

If you didn't buy one of his tapes earlier, you really owe it to yourself to get to hear Kerry Christensen sing and yodel. I've never heard his equal.


The Arizona Republic - 28 Mar 2001

You are never too old to learn 'Chicken Yodel'

by David Casstevens

In addition to golf and spring baseball, many of our winter visitors enjoy yodeling. They don't actually yodel themselves, but lots of snowbirds like to listen to professional-quility yodeling. And one of the top practitioners in the world packs them in nightly at the Arizona Opry Dinner Show in Apache Junciton, just a yodelay-he-hoo from the suspected whereabouts of the Lost Dutchman Mine.

"He's the best I've ever heard," Jim Lewis declared. The part-time resident from Grand Rapids, Mich., smiled in anticipation from his front-row table.

"A dandy," retiree Vern Becker from Saskachewan agreed.

Lewis has seen the musical revue several times and he expressed confidence that Kerry Christensen's skill--a "true art form"--would be so well-received that he would "bring the rafters down."

My first memories of yodeling date back to childhood. Film and television cowboy Will Rodgers yodeled on occasion and Eddy Arnold showed off his prairie tenor and epiglottal talents in the hit song Cattle Call.

Kerry Christensen sings Cattle Call. He also does Tennessee Banjo Yodel and When I'm In Love I Yodel and the crowd-pleasinng Chicken Yodel in which he alternatively and seamlessly yodels and bawk-bawk-bawks while playing an accordion, providing a unique musical experience that doesn't easily translate into print.

During intermission, Vern from Canada bought one of Kerry's CDs titles Yodeling: From the Old West to the Alps, which features Cattle Call and Edelweiss.

Yodelers are like sardines, only larger. You like them or you don't. The sound they produce is happy and melodious, or terribly annoying, depending upon one's ear. To those who flee from yodelers in terror, the vocal trick sounds like someone attempting to sing while gargling Listerine.

 

 


The Texas Polka News

Kerry Christensen Loves to Yodel

He's been coming to Texas (Wurstfest) for over ten years. Each year, he packs them, a one-man show featuring immense musical talent and a world-class yodel. He's Kerry Christensen, the master yodeler from Utah who specializes in the fast dramatic "bravour" yodel. At Wurstfest, he seems to specialize in entertaining Texans.


Letter from Kenny Roberts - World Champion Yodeler

20 April 1999

Dear Kerry,

Thank you for your marvelous CDs I received a few days ago.

I was hoping I would get something from you, as I had never heard you and my son Bob said how good you were, as you had mailed him something and called him, on my suggestion...

I knew he was impressed with you, so that says something. You have a busy schedule, so he would have to work around your schedule, when things come up. After hearing your CDs, I can see why you're so busy.

You have such a great variety and your yodeling is superb, and you are unique. I know you have many years ahead of you, with your God-given talent.

...Until we make contact again sometime, phone or letter, you take care and continued good luck to you.

Sincerely,

Kenny Roberts


Letter from Mary Snieder - Australia's Queen of Yodeling

10.8.97

Dear Kerry,

I think your CDs and tapes are amazing. Wow! You're a great yodeler. I would love to meet you one day. Maybe when I come over in November this year. We are going to L.A., New York, and Nashville. I don't know what I'll be doing live but they will fill up the two weeks with promotion for the CD which is released on 21st October...

Have enclosed all the records I have done. Not many really, but I intend to do more soon. You have done so many and they're all great. You also have the best singing voice. Your daughter is really good too. I have a beautiful daughter too who sings and does harmony yodeling with me...

Thank you once again for sending those beautiful CDs. I just love them. You are so talented. We must keep in touch. Hope to meet you soon.

My very best wishes,

Mary Schneider


7 March 2006

FM: J. Hergenreter, Actities Dir., Cocopah RV Resort

Kerry,

Thanks for a great show. We've had a lot of our people comment on how much fun and enjoyment they got out of your performance. Everyone is asking and requesting that we have you back for this coming season. We, of course, are looking forward tohaving you back and we are in the process of determining a date for you. I'll be waiting for your schedule to see when we can complete the arrangments for next year.


 

Here is a review of one of Kerry's live shows by a blogger who just happened to attend one of his shows at a community concert in New Mexico.

Read Below:

When we woke up on Sunday, we finally knew that we were feeling better. I spent some time posting to the blog, then we took a look through the myriad papers we seem to collect in every location we visit.

Lo and behold, we saw that we were just in time for a free concert we had hoped to attend. The Deming Arts Council was sponsoring a concert by "International Virtuoso Performer Kerry Christensen, Vocalist, Instrumentalist and MASTER YODELER"!!!

Well, I LOVE yodeling and couldn't believe that we had almost missed this treat!

Since this was a free event, the flyer advised that we arrive early for a good seat. Excited to once again be feeling fine and off on an adventure, we left over an hour early, arriving to find the venue locked. We decided to take the hour and go get an ice cream (pretty silly what gets you happy after a couple of days in bed). We returned in plenty of time to get great seats.

I have to tell you, this was quite a show.

This gentleman is exceptionally talented, a true professional. In show business today, it seems that actual entertainers are in pretty short supply, but Kerry Christensen certainly fills the bill. I've seen so many show people who may be able to do one thing well, but I sometimes feel that the era of the all around performer is over.

But there is hope!

This talented fellow sings, plays the accordion, the zither and the Alpine Horn, also known as the Alphorn (yes, one of THOSE horns, the ones you see in the Ricola ads). He also yodels in every imaginable style including western, alpine, Hawaiian, Cajun, jazz, classical. Jewish and even Latin! And to top it all off, he also performs on what he calls the mouth trumpet. With this, he uses his mouth in some kind of buzzing motion and you would swear that there is a trumpet on stage (he does a mean Louis Armstrong).

I hate to sound gushy but this was just such a great show! Kerry has a wonderful voice and is a fine instrumentalist; however for me, his most impressive skill is blending the various elements of his talent into an engaging stage show.

I have never heard anyone actually attempt to play the alphorn before, but I can tell you that when he plays Amazing Grace on this astounding instrument, it is a deeply moving experience. In addition to playing the horn, he accompanies himself on his accordion, which in this song took on the guise of a massive pipe organ. It was a lovely experience.

He related a wonderful story about how he acquired his horn.

Kerry had just given a concert and an elderly gentleman came up to him and told him he wished to sell Kerry his own personal alphorn. Since these are expensive instruments, Kerry politely declined. The man then told him that his horn was worth much more but he wanted to sell it to Kerry for $1,200. Kerry took a look at the instrument and realized that this horn had been carved (apparently all alphorns are handmade) by a trio of fellows who are the acknowledged Masters of this craft. The elderly gent went on to explain that he had hoped to pass his horn on to his children, but he had finally understood that they had no interest.

Then he heard Kerry Christensen play, and the old man knew who he wanted to have his horn. He had only one stipulation, and that was that he wished Kerry to pass it on to his own children. Please, he requested, never sell it.

And as Kerry tells it, he purchased it on the spot and only told his wife about the purchase after he returned from his trip! Isn't that a great story?

He also plays the zither, an lovely instrument we rarely hear these days. My favorite of this part of the show was when he played the theme from the 1949 classic film, the Third Man. It was this haunting tune that first brought the zither to national attention here in America. I tell you, this show just got better and better.

The afternoon literally sped by, I just couldn't believe how lucky we felt to have happened upon this event. And while I have always loved western yodeling, who would have thought I loved other kinds as well? Not only was the afternoon a grand time but it was educational as well.

After the show, there was a reception and everyone got the chance to talk with Kerry. Up close and personal, he is every bit as engaging as on stage. I told him how much I had enjoyed the show and that I would be writing it up on this blog. He kindly pointed me to his website, which I recommend to everyone.

Unfortunately, the lighting was a bit dim during the concert and my pictures didn't come out.

If you ever need an entertainer, this man seems to tour tirelessly and is certainly an engaging stage presence. After the show, they were selling Kerry's CDs and I bought TEN of them, including one titled U2 can Yodel.

Watch out folks, when next you see me, I may be a yodeling fool!.

Please, take a look at his website, and check his schedule. If he is ever performing near you, make sure to attend, you will not be disappointed.

Posted by Kate & Terry at 7:36 PM

 


©2007 Kerry Christensen