Lost dream of cowboy yodeling found

By Karl Terry: Freedom New Mexico

If I could yodel I’d buy a horse and guitar and follow Roy Rogers into the sunset.

I’ve tried it in the shower but my wife says it sounds like I’m strangling cats.

I’m pretty good on yippy-ti-yi-yis, but full on yodeling with the notes rising and falling from my chest to my throat just isn’t happening.

I like lots of different music — old cowboy tunes included.

I think it goes back to my Grandmother Ereth playing 45 rpm records of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Jimmie Rodgers for me when I was little. As I got older I outgrew Tumbling Tumbleweeds and Back in the Saddle Again.

After I grew up I hadn’t really outgrown those songs at all. I still knew the words to Home on the Range and could sing it with the best at Rotary Club meetings of all places.

The call of the campfire music got stronger about 15 years ago when a preacher I knew, who fancied himself a cowboy poet, helped organize the first Ridgway (Colo.) Roundup. A Western music and cowboy poetry event.

I got roped into helping out a little on the publicity and I became hooked.

I’ve heard the old cowboy songs all my life and now have a few albums I like. More than anything else I like hearing Western music live. Harmony the cowboy way — there’s nothing better.

So with a rare Friday off and the Flying J Wranglers in town I couldn’t resist going to see them at the Memorial Building. It was a Christmas show with a Western flavor and I loved it.

Before the Wranglers came to town I did a story in which I interviewed Cindy Hobbs, the band’s lead singer. At the show I found out she yodels pretty darn good.

I’d steal a horse and a guitar and run off with her and learn to yodel except, well, I’m happily married to a woman who doesn’t yodel and Cindy appears to be happily married to a guy in the band who does yodel.

Maybe being a cowboy singer in my dreams is better anyway.

Hear a clip of Cindy Hobbs yodeling here:

Karl Terry is managing editor for the Portales News-Tribune. He can be contacted at 356-4483, ext. 33. His e-mail address is: