Wednesday, December 15, 2010


                                 (Click on image to enlarge)
               Yoshi Yodelers invited wives and others to their 1995 Christmas Party!
               From left:  Naomi Stucki, Jim Thorne, Alice, Dave Pyle, Geno Connable,
               Yoshimi Takeda, Alice's Archivist (obscured), Al Connable obscured by
               wife Tenho, Mary Ellen Takeda, Jake Stucki
   HISTORY OF YOSHI YODELERS, as told by Al Connable   (December 17, 1998)

 "Some time after Yoshimi Takeda became Conductor and Music Director of the
 Kalamazoo Symphony, several of his friends and admirers started to lunch, sing
 and congratulate Kalamazoo's good luck in having Yoshi as our leader... hence
 the name Yoshi Yodelers."  (The group was first formed around 1986.)

             (Click on image to enlarge)
 Yodelers meet in early September, 1996.  From left:  C.H. Mullen, Jim Thorne,
 Jim Westin, Larry Schlack, Yoshimi Takeda, Jake Stucki and Al Connable
 (photographer unknown)

The Yoshi Yodelers always met for lunch at the Park Club in downtown Kalamazoo.
After the meal, song sheets were distributed.  The Official Songs of The Yoshi Yodelers
were melodies familiar to those assembled, namely college fight songs from alma
maters including Western Michigan University, and the Universities of Michigan,
Wisconsin and Illinois.

The gusto with which they sang more than made up for any shortcomings in vocal talent.
Al Connable goes on to say, "We were strong on fellowship and admiration, but as my
brother "HP" said, 'the singing sounded like a bunch of sick frogs'."

The lyrics were changed to sing the praises of Yoshimi.  For example, the University
of Michigan Hail to the Victors went like this:

Hail to our Victor Valiant,
Hail to our Conquering Hero,
Hail, Hail to Yoshi-San,
The Leader and Best.

Hail to our Victor Valiant,
Hail to our Conquering Hero,
Hail, Hail to Yoshi-San,
Who always meets the test!

Text edited by Kapellmeister Herr Stucki

           (Click on image to enlarge)
  Yoshi Yodelers meet on June 10, 1997.  (Yoshimi himself might have taken this photo)
  From left:  C.H. Mullen, Jim Thorne, Larry Schlack, Jake Stucki, John Bernhard,
  Al Connable and Bud Hanselman.

  In addition to all individuals named in the above photographs, other esteemed Yoshi
  Yodelers were H.P. Connable, Gus Gianakaris and Bill Maze.

  When Maestro Takeda passed away in 2000, this august group of gentlemen were
  listed in the program at the memorial service.  Larry Schlack spoke at the service
  on behalf of the Yoshi Yodelers.

       (Click on image to enlarge)
    At the 1995 Yoshi Yodelers Christmas Party:  Jim Thorne, looking festive in his
    plaid blazer and red bowtie, talks to Alice.  Jim and wife Mary endowed the KSO's
    Burdick-Thorne String Quartet.  On Alice's left, Dave Pyle is looking equally festive!

    Thanks to Mary Ellen Takeda for supplying the song lyrics and Yoshi Yodelers history.

    Watch for future postings from the annals of the Yoshi Yodelers.       -Alice's Archivist

                                      -from Al Connable's book, A MICHIGAN MAN, p. 285
    Scroll down this page to read earlier postings in Alice's Archives 2!
    If you wish to go over to Alice' Archives:  50 Years of Kalamazoo Symphony
    Memorabilia, just click on this link:

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