At the end (2007) of a 37 year career as a Professor of Management in the MBA Program at Frostburg State University in western Maryland, I became fascinated with western music and western yodeling. The focus of my repertoire is a balanced mix of yodeling and non-yodeling western and cowboy songs. I have performed at a number of venues in and around my home in western Maryland as well as in West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, California, Canada, England, Scotland, and Denmark. I also have performed on showcases (2010-2012) at the Western Music Association’s Annual Convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and at the National Traditional Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa (2011). My first CD, Yodeling Familiar Trails, with instrumentals by Greg Latta of Frostburg, Maryland, released in November 2010, received the award for Best Traditional Yodeling CD for 2010-2011 from the National Traditional Country Music Association. I am a member of the Western Music Association, the Association of Western Artists, the Cowboy Poets Society, and the National Traditional Country Music Association.
I would not be yodeling and singing western music today if it were not for two yodelers. The first is Taylor Ware, whose amazing yodeling at such a young age captivated my imagination; she has been my inspiration since 2007. The second is Margo Smith, whose yodeling instructional tape and booklet were a perfect fit for the way I learn and whose clear, melodic, bell-like yodeling has been the quality touchstone I have sought to achieve. Since learning how to yodel, there are two other yodelers who have had a significant influence on my yodeling: Yodeling Slim Clark and Roy Rogers. The warmth and ease of their yodeling have provided an additional standard for me to seek.
I should acknowledge, however, a much earlier influence that has played a direct role in being open to the appeal and possibility of learning Western songs and how to yodel. During my grade school days in the late forties and early fifties in southern California, I, like many other kids my age, went to the movies on Saturday afternoons to watch black and white cowboy movies starring Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Tex Ritter, Ken Maynard, Rex Allen, and other singing/yodeling cowboys. Gene Autry and Roy Rogers were my favorite then and I learned probably a dozen standard western songs, including Gene’s Back in the Saddle Again, from watching those movies and the reruns on the days of early television. Those are fond memories for me and ones that have lasted to the very present.
I would like to acknowledge the on-going encouragement and support for my singing and yodeling as well as my yodeling CD from Terri and Steve Taylor (Stampede) of Roy, Utah, Janet McBride of Mesquite, Texas, KG and the Ranger of Madison, Wisconsin, and Mike Johnson of Washington DC. At the same time, I want to thank all members of the Western Music Association and the many western music artists and poets, past and present, of the Western Music Association, the Association of Western Artists, and the Cowboy Poets Society who have introduced me to the amazingly rich repertoire of western music and cowboy poetry in general and the western yodeling songs in particular through their compositions, live performances, and CD’s. I hope that I have continued the western yodeling tradition in a way that brings credit to all of those artists and to the art form that it so richly deserves.
CD Purchasing Information
Cost per CD = $16.00 (Includes MD State Sales Tax)
Packaging and Mailing: $3.00 for the first CD; add $1.00 for each additional CD.
Mail Check or Money Order to: Tom Hawk, 816 Highland Avenue, Cumberland, MD 21502
WMA Website Bio
I have been performing cowboy and western music, with a focus on the songs of the first half of the twentieth century and yodeling songs, since 2008 at a number of venues around my home in western Maryland and across the United States. They include West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Tennessee, Iowa, Texas, New Mexico, Oregon, and California. I also have performed at the Western Music Association’s Annual Convention and the National Traditional Music Festival, LeMars, Iowa. My first CD, Yodeling Familiar Trails, in collaboration with instrumentals by Greg Latta of Frostburg, Maryland, came out in November 2010 and received the National Traditional Country Music Association’s award for the Best Traditional Yodeling CD for 2010-2011.
Additional Biographical Information
BS, U.S. Naval Academy, 1964.
MBA, Harvard University, 1971.
PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 1990.
One son, born 1978. One daughter, born 1985.