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Wylie Gustafson, March 2007
|Birth name||Wylie Galt Gustafson|
|Born||June 7, 1961|
|Genres||Country, cowboy, folk, yodeling|
|Occupation(s)||Yodeler Singer Songwriter Cowboy Horseman|
|Website||"Wylie & the WIld West"|
Wylie Galt Gustafson (born June 7, 1961, Conrad, Montana) is an American singer-songwriter who has toured nationally and internationally with his band, "Wylie & The Wild West". The band is known for its blend of cowboy, traditional country, folk and yodeling.
Life and career
Gustafson learned to sing and yodel from his father, R.W. "Rib" Gustafson, who is a traditional folk/cowboy singer, retired large-animal veterinarian, and author. The elder Gustafson learned to yodel from Austrians on the ski team at Montana State College (now Montana State University), Bozeman, Montana. Among Rib's credits are two books (Under the Chinook Arch, Room to Roam) about his life as a pioneering Montana veterinarian.
Wylie Gustafson founded his band, The Wild West Show, in 1988 in Los Angeles at the world famous Palomino Club where they were regulars on Ronnie Mack's Barn Dance. It was there that Gustafson showcased the first version of the Wild West Show which then included guitarist Will Ray. The group developed their sound alongside artists such as Dale Watson, Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Rosie Flores and Dave Alvin. Since then, Wylie & the Wild West have played thousands of gigs, delighting audiences around the world with their unique brand of music which included elements of cowboy, traditional country, western swing, folk and yodeling.
Throughout his musical career, Gustafson has remained a working cowboy. Born into a ranching family in the empty sprawl of Northern Montana, Gustafson’s unique American perspective is the primary theme of his music. Gustafson and his family were featured in the 2013 Dodge Super Bowl commercial “God Made a Farmer”. Their image resembled a working-class family producing daily labor to help feed the United States as a whole. This ancient way of life remains the backbone of Gustafson's art.
Gustafson is particularly noted as a virtuoso yodeler, having originated the slow and ethereal High Plains Yodeling style that evokes the wide open spaces of his Montana home. He also created and voiced the signature "Yahoo-oo-oo!" for Yahoo, Inc.. His book and album, "How to Yodel- Lessons to Tickle Your Tonsils," was published by Gibbs Smith in 2007, and is the top selling publication on the rejuvenated vocal art. As of 2016, Gustafson remains one of the top choices of yodelers and his clean and clear style can be heard frequently on national advertisements, television and movies. Some major companies that have used his yodel include Yahoo!, Walt Disney Films, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Miller Lite, Taco Bell and Montana Tourism.
Gustafson is also an accomplished horseman (2005 & 2008 NCHA Western National Finals Top Ten Open Finalist) and cowboy. When not performing, he operates his Cross Three Quarter Horse Ranch near Conrad, Montana breeding, raising and training cow horses. When Gustafson was young, he was a competitive team roper. Sometimes when at home at his ranch, he participates in roping contests at local ranches. In 1998, he was a champion team roper at the Reba McEntire/Ben Johnson Celebrity Rodeo.
On April 25, 2007, "Montana Lullaby" was declared the official lullaby of Montana. A yodel by Gustafson was used to write the lullaby. As a result, Montana was the first state to have an official lullaby.
As of 2016, Gustafson continues to front Wylie & the Wild West Show, and they continue to record and tour on a regular basis. The group is one of the United States' major folk and cowboy festival attractions with their energetic dance songs, aesthetic ballads, and Gustafson's unique High Plain's yodeling. Gustafson's songwriting continues to gracefully challenge the preconceptions of their genre and boldly reflect the ever-evolving West.
Wylie & the Wild West Show have released twenty-one albums through 2015, most of which are available on iTunes, Amazon, and the band's official website: www.wyliewebsite.com.
- Grand Ole Opry, WSM Radio, Nashville, Tennessee (more than 50 guest appearances)
- American Routes to China Tour 2015
- CMC Rocks Australia Country Music Festival 2015
- Thredbo Country Music Festival Australia 2015
- American Routes to China Tour 2013
- Yahoo! on the Road Summer 2013 promotional tour for Yahoo!
- God Made a Farmer Dodge television advertisement. January 2013 & 2014 Super Bowl commercial
- Merlefest- Wilkesboro, NC -April 2012. Wylie featured in Songwriter Showcase with Jim Lauderdale and Claire Lynch
- Horse Talk with Lizzie Iwerson- RFD TV 2012
- American Seasons Tour in Russia sponsored by The American Folklife Center and CEC Arts Link- March thru April 2012
- Don't Fence Me In West Coast tour hosted by the National Council for Traditional Arts- March 2012
- Push the Button, hosted by Ant and Dec (2010 season debut)
- Gold Coast Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (2008, 2009)
- The National Folk Festival
- Lowell Folk Festival
- Bangor Folk Festival
- Great Lakes Folk Festival
- Richmond, VA Folk Festival
- Late Night with Conan O'Brien (2008)
- National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Elko, Nevada (2000, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15)
- A Prairie Home Companion (2006, 2010)
- Lincoln Center
- The Kennedy Center
- The Los Angeles Music Center
- Western Folklife Center tour of Brazil and Argentina 2007
- Country Gold Festival, Kumamoto, Japan
- Tom Russell's Vancouver-to-Toronto Canadian Cow Train (2005, 2007)
- Merlefest, Wilkesboro, North Carolina (2002, 2010, 2012)
- Bumbershoot International Music & Arts Festival, Seattle, Washington
- Equiblues Festival, St. Agreve, France
- Personal Appearance with lines in the movie "Slaughter Rule"
- Space Ghost Coast to Coast (1996 episode: "Freak Show")
|1992||Wylie & the Wild West Show|
|1997||Way out West|
|2000||Ridin' the Hi-line|
|2004||Hooves of the Horses|
|Cowboy Ballads and Dance Songs|
|2005||Live! at the Tractor|
|2007||Bucking Horse Moon|
|Christmas for Cowboys|
|2009||Hang -n- Rattle!|
|2011||Raven on the Wind|
|2013||Sky Tones- Songs of Montana|
|2015||Song of the Horse|
|1994||"Ugly Girl Blues"||38||Get Wild|
|"Cattle Call"||—||Cattle Call|
|1998||"Girl on the Billboard"||—||Way out West|
|1992||"This Time"||Randy Cohen|
|1993||"Doctor My Heart"||Brooks Dailey|
|1993||"Black Boots and Blue Jeans"||Mitchell Cohen|
|1994||"Ugly Girl Blues"|
|1998||"Girl on the Billboard"|
|2005||"Live! at the Tractor Tavern"||Brian Barnett|
- Nickell, Joe (October 15, 2010). "Wylie Gustafson Sings More Than Yodels, Really is a Cowboy". Missoulian. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
- "Wylie and the Wild West". Montana Living. August 21, 2010. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- "Cross Three Quarter Horses - Introduction to our ranch". Cross Three Quarter Horses. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "Wylie's Biography | Wylie & the Wild West". Wylie & the Wild West. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- "Montana's Lullaby". Billings Gazette. April 25, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- "Montana Designates Nation's First Official Lullaby". PRWeb. April 27, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2011.
- RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks
- "CMT : Videos : Wylie & the Wild West Show : Doctor My Heart". Country Music Television. Retrieved October 14, 2011.