Here is an awarded yodeler who makes use of the yodel breaks in her voice to achieve a rather unique (and identifiable) style stamp in her “normal” singing. Paula Erlene (Williamson) is the wife and frequent stage performance partner of John Wayne double and Western novelist Ermal Williamson.
Two releases from Paula Erlene came in the same package. The first, “Across The Brazos” was actually released last year and continues to enjoy considerable airplay among the Western DJs. Picks on it include the title track, “Singing Myself To Sleep,” “Don’t Know A Thing About Texas,” “Whisper” and “Ballad Of Ginny McBride.” The newest album release is “Forever In The West.” As picks there we’ll cite “Gonna Find Myself In The West” with its unusual structure, a goofy novelty “Ghost Yodelers In The Sky,” Ruby Allmond’s “Reno” and “The Women Who Tamed The Men Who Tamed The West!” Hopefully show hosts won’t run out of air announcing that last one!! CD producer and multi-instrumentalist Brian Pearson joins Williamson on the movie classic “My Rifle, My Pony & Me.”
In the picks I would have included Paula’s take on “Fading Sunsets, Fading Cowboys” except for some ragged supporting instrumental work on it, a problem that rears its head more than once on the CD.
Fifteen tracks on each of the two albums.
CDs: $15 ppd (or two CDs for $25) through www.yodellady.com or www.ermalandpaula.com and direct from Paula Erlene Williamson, 10315 E. Capri Ave., Mesa, AZ 85208
- by Rick Huff