As postprandial conversations are wont to do, yesterday’s discussion in the pub leapt in little more than a single bound from some quite general topic to the more specific one of Minna Reverelli, the Yodelling Prima Donna.
This was my fault. My Dad had an old 78 rpm record that took my fancy, and I have it beside me as I type. It’s in an old cardboard sleeve that announces it was originally sold by Paterson, Sons & Marr Wood, Ltd (Pianoforte Makers to Their Majesties The King and Queen), of 183 Union Street, Aberdeen (with additional branches in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Paisley, Greenock, Perth and Oban).
Mine is actually third-hand, as the sleeve features a hand-written inscription, “Tommy from Meg 1971”. That’s my Dad, and my great-aunt, his mother’s sister.
The track that drew me is The Cuckoo In The Wood, a song in Viennese dialect with yodelled impressions of a cuckoo. What is there not to like?
I had a quick search for it online, and struck lucky. You can hear it on YouTube (unfortunately, embedding this particular video is disabled, so click here, or on the picture).
This morning I also found a small number of additional tracks in MP3 format, and some rather sad information. Minna Reverelli was Jewish and disappeared in Vienna in 1941. Please read what little more there is and enjoy her music so that her memory can live on.