Pucker Up and Blow: the World of Whistling

May 26, 2011

We got interested in whistling after the Library of Congress launched its National Jukebox, an amazing online compilation of playable, often scratchy music from the library's collection. There's a lot of music there, including a whole section devoted to whistling. (Also yodeling, but that's another show ... )

Our semi-regular music expert Steve Metcalf had written, back in 1991, one of the more definitive articles on the history of artistic whistling and its status in the present day.  We discovered also the world of competitive whistling and learned about Luke Janssen, a figure of controversy at the International Whistling Competition because of his unorthodox style of "palate" whistling.  We also found John Parson, the whistling king of Connecticut. And we gradually realized there's more to say about whistling than we can possibly fit in this show. Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin. 

This show originally aired May 26, 2010.