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Everything's better with a little Harlem on top
June 23, 2010 7:51 PM   Subscribe

Harlem Yodel. The Dandridge Sisters and the Cats and the Fiddle teach us how the yodel is done above 110th Street.

Not enough Harlem goodness for you?

How about a Harlem cowboy in "Cow Cow Boogie" by Ella Mae Morse?
Cab Calloway introduces us to "The Man from Harlem."
In the meanwhile, Mamie Smith has the "Harlem Blues."
Here is the Swedish band Arne Hülphers Orchestra bringing some "Harlem Heat."
Django Reinhardt shows us what "Harlem Swing" sounds like.
In the meanwhile, Tommy Dorsey and Connie Haines tell us what it's like when it's "Swing Time Up in Harlem."
Of course, that's nothing compared to the "Jungle Nights in Harlem," as Duke Ellington demonstrates.
Coleman Hawkins tells us what "Harlem is to Me."
How about the Harlem version of the rhumba with "Rhumboogie" by the Anders Sisters?
Even the moon's different in Harlem, as demonstrated by "Harlem Moon" by the Brown Sisters
And you already know how they shuffle in Harlem, thanks to Bob & Earl's "Harlem Shuffle."
And let's close with Bill Withers, just singing about "Harlem"
posted by Astro Zombie (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yes, I am hep to ALL of this classic jive. Great stuff!
posted by Quasimike at 8:18 PM on June 23, 2010


While it's true that most folks probably think that yodeling is a more-or-less strictly white musical endeavor (Swiss, country & western...) it's worth noting that there are some notable exceptions to the perceived reality. Jazz vocalist Leon Thomas used the technique extensively, for example. hear him leap right in with some ecstatic yodeling in an amazing yodel performance: Umbo Weti. Then of course, various Pygmy tribes in central Africa have been yodeling for centuries, often in a gorgeously complex polyphonic style. Which reminds me, I've been meaning to do a proper Pygmy music post for a long time, and still haven't gotten around to it.

Nice post, AZ!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:19 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


And let's close with Bill Withers, just singing about "Harlem"

And just for good measure, howsabout a PS from Aretha? Spanish Harlem.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:23 PM on June 23, 2010


Then of course, various Pygmy tribes in central Africa have been yodeling for centuries,

Ah ... brings back that 1990's fusion Deep Forest album to my aural memory. Great post, Astro Zombie.
posted by Back to you, Jim. at 8:37 PM on June 23, 2010


I've always associated Cow Cow Boogie with Cow Cow Davenport.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:40 PM on June 23, 2010


So now I know, "Spanish Harlem" are not just pretty words to say...
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:38 PM on June 23, 2010


All these musicians make a Great Day in Harlem.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:55 PM on June 23, 2010


Wow, fantastic stuff! Thanks!

From Harlem also came the Lindy Hop, as demonstrated here by the Harlem Congaroo Dancers (the dancing starts at around 2:44, but there's no reason to skip over the jivetastic Slim & Slam to get to it).
posted by Balonious Assault at 11:37 PM on June 23, 2010


47 versions of Harlem Nocturne
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:13 AM on June 24, 2010


42 should have been the correct answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:15 AM on June 24, 2010


In the Harlem Yodel video, the white guy in lederhosen at the beginning does great "What the heck ... Negroes!" double take when he sees the Dandridge sisters.
posted by Faze at 4:39 AM on June 24, 2010


Cats and the Fiddle are a criminally forgotten group. Awesomeness.
posted by waitingtoderail at 5:41 AM on June 24, 2010


Just to Be a 'stick in the mud' here, but that wasn't yodelling, as I know it. No rapid move between Chest and High or False registers...
posted by Elim at 11:02 AM on June 24, 2010


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