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There goes the balls again!
December 5, 2011 3:05 PM   Subscribe

And now, a 1984 talk show performance of Whistling On My Mind. (stupefying SLYT)
posted by naju (32 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's good enough to almost excuse his mullet.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:15 PM on December 5, 2011


Not to take away from the guy's obvious talent, but everything about that video was a perfect pastiche of the 80's, from the mullet, to the mustach, to the Pistons sweatshirt, and even to the girl in the audience with a side-ponytail.
posted by Think_Long at 3:15 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I loved everything about that. I'd like to think it occurred on the day of my birth.
posted by defenestration at 3:15 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is pretty much the best thing I've ever seen.
posted by koeselitz at 3:16 PM on December 5, 2011


SOMEONE GIVE THAT MAN THE HEIMLICH!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 3:16 PM on December 5, 2011


"There goes the balls again..."
posted by koeselitz at 3:17 PM on December 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


there goes the post title again
posted by koeselitz at 3:19 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Really, this doesn't even need to be said, but the audience makes this ten thousand times better than it might have been. They are stunned, their preconceptions about what noises human beings make are being sorely taxed, and the adults seem somewhat concerned to find they can't imagine living in a world where a man can make those kinds of sounds come out of his mouth, if that is indeed where the sounds are coming from.
posted by koeselitz at 3:21 PM on December 5, 2011 [12 favorites]


They are stunned, their preconceptions about what noises human beings make are being sorely taxed, and the adults seem somewhat concerned to find they can't imagine living in a world where a man can make those kinds of sounds come out of his mouth, if that is indeed where the sounds are coming from

The kid at 1:14 doesn't seem to be having quite the same religious experience that you're describing.
posted by Think_Long at 3:25 PM on December 5, 2011


Didn't I come to bring you a sense of wonder?
posted by Abiezer at 3:26 PM on December 5, 2011


I'd like to see whistling mullet vs Susan Boyle.
posted by unSane at 3:26 PM on December 5, 2011


Wow, that was fantastic :)
posted by carter at 3:32 PM on December 5, 2011


HOW??? Is this a known technique? Is he a mutant?
posted by cmoj at 3:43 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I almost laughed at the kid making that slack-jawed face at 0:39, until I realized I was making the exact same face.

As a matter of fact, I thought 0:39 to 1:07 was absolutely the greatest thing ever: you start with slack-jawed boy, then cut to whistling pseudo-80s-don-mattingly just nailing a note all the way from east to west, then to the kid trying to emulate him, and then at 0:53 to the guy in pastel blue shirt and stash that the camera man had just been waiting to get with that tight close-up (just look at the confusion on his face....he wants to be the guy that jumps up there and screams "right on man!", but everything about his midwestern upbringing is telling him to stay seated and wait for the end to politely clap), and finally at 1:04 we have the little wise girl -- the only one in the audience who floats above it all thinking...."WTF?"....before "WTF?" even existed.

But then....then there was that shot at the end of the guy in the pen with bowling balls and that just trumped everything so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 3:49 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


everything about that video was a perfect pastiche of the 80's, from the mullet, to the mustach, to the Pistons sweatshirt, and even to the girl in the audience with a side-ponytail

Everything but the performance itself, which would have been at home on any 70's variety show.

*shivers just remembering the plague on humankind that was the variety show*
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:09 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why haven't I seen this before?!?!
posted by dabug at 4:14 PM on December 5, 2011


You'd think Eckersley would have done something more constructive while lounging out in the bullpen.
posted by davebush at 4:15 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I googled some context. The guy's name is Ralph Giese, and this is a Detroit talk show called Kelly & Company, for John Kelly and his wife Marilyn Turner.
posted by dhartung at 4:35 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


That WAS the best thing ever! I'm still stumped about how he did that though.

When I were a lad (in the early 70s?) you used to be able to get these little "mouth-whistle" things at the corner store... it was a semi-circle of naugahyde*, with a smaller semi-circle of thinner clear plastic on the flat face. You put it on the roof of your mouth and sort of blew through it, and you could get some interesting squeaky, singing, sounds...

Panpipe player Gheorghe Zamfir used to play the scale of a Carp on some tracks - I can't find any of him playing, but here is Ion Lăceanu playing one. It sounds a bit like a thin tenor sax crossed with a whistle.

Solz de pește, (fish scale) – A carp fish scale is rounded and kept in a glass of cold
water until played. The musician holds it in his mouth between the lower teeth and lower lip.


The problem with the plastic version was that it wore out as soon as you learned how to make it work. Sadly, it wasn't a big seller...

Is that what the guy in the video is doing? It does look like he's blowing over his tongue, but he's not puckering, even if he says something about it at the end.

*of course the Nauga, as we knew it, is now extinct.
posted by sneebler at 4:39 PM on December 5, 2011


Ah well, maybe not then.
posted by sneebler at 4:41 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I were a lad (in the early 70s?) you used to be able to get these little "mouth-whistle" things at the corner store... it was a semi-circle of naugahyde*, with a smaller semi-circle of thinner clear plastic on the flat face. You put it on the roof of your mouth and sort of blew through it, and you could get some interesting squeaky, singing, sounds...

Are you talking about one of these?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:07 PM on December 5, 2011


I can make a halfway decent whistling sound, after a couple minutes of practice, by rolling up the edges of my tongue (so I guess this wouldn't be possible for people who can't roll their tongues) and keeping those edges against the roof of my mouth, with just a little space left for air to escape at the front. I'm guessing he's just really, really good at this.
posted by uosuaq at 5:09 PM on December 5, 2011


Are you talking about one of these?

No, it's one layer of flat naugahyde with a semicircle of thin, transparent plastic along one side, held in place by a crimped metal strip. It might be 1.5" long, and the insert is maybe 1/2" long. You put the whole thing in your mouth and somehow blow against the edge of the thinner plastic. It feels like blowing on a blade of grass held between your thumbs, only louder. Big fun at parties.
posted by sneebler at 5:28 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is what you're talking about, the Swiss Warbler. Man, I loved those.
posted by SPUTNIK at 5:35 PM on December 5, 2011


"The sound you hear is the sound of the Swisswarbler."

Thankfully not.

Thanks Sputnik! I'm going to buy a hundred and make every parent in the neighbourhood hate me.
posted by sneebler at 5:39 PM on December 5, 2011


You gotta lubricate the pucker!

I used to whistle through my teeth like that when I was a kid - and yes, I just found out I can still do it, though not with the same amount of control as this guy. It's a bit louder than a lip-whistle, and definitely more shrill. Sorry, upstairs neighbors.

I'm gonna have to spend more time practicing to get that good. Supplemented by making Soul Faces in the mirror, of course, and only with a properly lubricated pucker, for safety.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:40 PM on December 5, 2011


Nice, but he's no Ron McCroby...
posted by Quasimike at 9:28 PM on December 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


By the way, the guy from the video, Ralph Giese, also appeared on the Tonight Show...
posted by Quasimike at 9:37 PM on December 5, 2011


From my neck of the woods here in St. Petersburg Florida, here is the great Whistlin' Tom...
posted by Quasimike at 9:45 PM on December 5, 2011


Mouth-whistling is controversial among the pros. Check out this story about the International Whistlers Convention, at which a friend of mine was a judge.
posted by kinnakeet at 12:11 PM on December 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


He isn't the only one to whistle in that fashion.

Apparently Wittgenstein used to be able to whistle concertos.. or so I've read..
posted by bigZLiLk at 11:18 PM on December 6, 2011


I wonder how many of those kids, 25 years on, will see this video and mourn the fact that, whatever else they might have done in their life, no moment of joy and mystery can ever top the experience they shared that day
posted by rollick at 8:03 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


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