Friday, January 25, 2008

Tarzan Yell

I'm watching Sesame Street with my son and the letter of the day is 'G.' I know this because we watched a skit that featured a group of kids exploring the jungle, only to witness a tiger-striped letter G swing through the vines and yelling like Tarzan.

Which prompted me to think: "Who recorded the Tarzan yell?" My initial answer was that it was Weismuller himself, but I've grown jaded in my old age. I did some research, figuring I'd find a story of recording studio magic.

And indeed, one of the rumors according to this site was

the sound was achieved by combining the sounds from a Violin G-string, a hyena howl, a dog's growl, and a camel's bleat.

But apparently Weissmuller did record a version of the yell, which he claims he mastered by learning how to yodel as a young boy raised by Viennese parents.

Weissmuller identified with the the signature Tarzan yell so much that his last request was to have it played as his coffin was interred.

I want the same thing at my funeral, except I want a 21 Tarzan Yell Salute. And everyone has to wear leopard skins.

Ah, the things you learn while watching Sesame Street! Next we'll talk about Grover's visit to Paris. Allons-y!

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