Bob Vrieling

Biography

Bob Vrieling is Belgium’s “other” yodeling cowboy. On the cover of his hit album Prikkebeen (1970), Bob is sitting next to “his” white horse on a bale of hay, dressed somewhere between a Hayseed Liberace and Conway Twitty after a Nudie’s shopping spree. But Vrieling’s yodeling is very accomplished and the cowboy-style singing fairly tolerable. “Prikkebeen,” his only hit, reached #250 on the Belgian Top 350 for 1970, ahead of, among others, James Brown and King Crimson. The lyrics, edging toward Merle Travis drinking songs, are about a man with a still and a stash of illegal gin. Some other Vrieling yodelers: “Als Ik Door de Alpen ga,” “Het Jodelmanneke,” “De Jodelende Cowboy,” and “Het Jodel Hoedje.”
• Prikkebeen, Telstar, 1978. Includes numerous yodel songs written by Bobbejaan Schoepen and Vrieling himself. The yodeling is an odd yet effec- tive hybrid of cowboy and Swiss influences.

~ bart plantenga

from the book YODEL-AY-EE-OOOO: THE SECRET HISTORY OF YODELING AROUND THE WORLD [Routledge, 2004]

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