The Worlds Best Yodeling Cowboy Rides into Rice for Lecture

first_imgShare Contact: Philip Montgomery Phone: (713) 831-4792 The World’s Best Yodeling Cowboy Rides into Rice for Lecture The world’s best yodeling cowboy Don Edwards will pull off the trail drive to sing and lecture about the “cowboyway” at Rice University. His lecture and performance, entitled “Words and Music in Songs of the West,” will be held on Thursday, March 2, at 4 p.m. in 309 Sewall Hall. This will be the second in the lecture and music series Language and Music, presented by the Center for the Study ofCultures and the Rice’s Department of Linguistics.”He (Edwards) may be the world’s best interpreter of cowboy music,” said Sydney Lamb, a professor of linguistics at Rice and a folk musician who regularly performs in Houston, “and he’sdefinitely the world’s best yodeler.” Edwards told the Chicago Sun-Times, in a 1992 interview, that”yodeling came from listening to coyotes and hearing Indiansholler”you mix it up with the Swiss yodels and you have a lot ofvariations.” Edwards is a singer, guitarist and performer of cowboy music, who records for Warner Western Records, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Records. Western Records was formed in 1992 in response to increasedinterest in cowboys and the music of the Old West. The Library of Congress included some of Edwards’ recordings in its folklore archives, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame awardedhim the Wrangler Award for Outstanding Traditional Western Music. Although originally from rural New Jersey, Edwards headed for Texas while in his teens, drawn by the mystique of the cowboy life. He did a few rodeos as well as some ranch work, but, “it didn’t take me long to find out that guitar-playing was my thing,” Edwards told Texas Highways in 1991. At 10-years-old, he started playing guitar.He recorded his first record in 1964. He has recorded three albums for Western Records alone. Lamb said Western Records imposed some restrictions on the first two albums regarding song arrangements, stylistic elements and backup instrumentation. But Edwards’ first two records for Western Recordsdid so well that the company gave him free rein for his third one.Edwards pursues an active touring and performing schedule in addition to running a ranch near Weatherford, Texas. While he and his wife are on the road, his mother-in-law, Mary Davis, holds downthe fort, taking care of the cattle and horses. “They’re all spoiled,” she said of the animals, “and they allhave names.”So when Edwards is out singing about the cowboy way, whether at the White Elephant Saloon in Fort Worth or in Sewall Hall, he canrest assured that the livestock are in good hands.Rice University is an independent, coeducational, nonsectarian private university dedicated to undergraduate teaching and graduate studies, research and professional training in selected disciplines. It has an undergraduate student population of 2,584, a graduate and professional student population of 1,489 and a full-time faculty of448. ### AddThislast_img