There's only way to announce the next entertainer at West Richland's Concerts in the Park.
Yep, you know who we're talkin' about: Mr. Yodel Man himself, Wylie Gustafson. Wylie and the Wild West headline the Aug. 5 show at Flat Top Park, off Bombing Range Road in West Richland. Showtime is 7 p.m. Admission is free.
Gustafson told the Herald that his Tri-City show will have a little yodeling, a little boogie, a little swing and a whole lot of cowboy.
Never miss a local story.
"We are generally a good-time cowboy band, but we also try to touch on the deeper side of things with more lyrical songs of the West," Gustafson wrote in an email. "One of our jobs has been to change folks' perception of what cowboy music is all about."
And that boils down to mean that cowboy music is not your grandpappy's cowboy music.
"The art form has changed over the years, and it is interesting to see the demographic of our audience change from the young, trendy set at the Tractor Tavern in downtown Seattle to the folkies at the Montana Folk Festival in Butte."
Gustafson spent 15 years living in the tiny community of Dusty, in the Palouse region, but moved back to his native Montana in 2009 after getting a divorce.
He's getting married again next month "to a Montana girl from my hometown," he said.
Besides making a living as an entertainer, Gustafson is a rancher and raises horses.
"Ranching and training horses is what I do as a sideline," he said. "But both careers are intertwined. They feed off of each other. I get my inspiration to write many of my songs from this wonderful western lifestyle."
Gustafson is something of a yodeling virtuoso. He created and voiced the signature Yahoo-oo-oo for Yahoo! and in 2007 released an instructional book and CD on how to yodel, called Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils.
He says kids are easier to teach how to yodel because they have fewer inhibitions than adults.
"Kids are also in the mimicking stage of their life and will pretty much try anything a goofy adult throws at them," he quipped.
Gustafson's dad taught him and his siblings how to yodel. And there was a good reason behind the lesson.
"It was actually my father who taught us," he said. "On the ski hill, he always let out a big yodel before he pointed his skies down the hill. Especially on a good powder day.
"And right behind him were five of us kids whooping and yodeling as we went down the hill."