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:
Wylie 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 Wylie showcased the first version of the Wild West which then included world class Telecaster specialist Will Ray. Since then, Gustafson and his good-time cowboy band have regularly appeared in concert around the world with their vibrant exhibition of Western music.
Throughout his musical career Wylie has remained a working cowboy. Born into a ranching family in the empty sprawl of Northern Montana, Wylie's unique American perspective is the primary theme of his music. Wylie and his family were featured in the 2013 Dodge Super Bowl commercial "God Made a Farmer". Their image was that of a hard working family doing what they do every day to keep food on America's tables. This ancient way of life remains the backbone of Wylie'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 CD "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. Wylie remains one of the top call vocalists for yodeling and his clean and clear style can be heard frequently on national advertisements, television and movies. Some of the companies that have used his yodel include Yahoo!, Walt Disney Films, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Miller Lite, Taco Bell and Montana Tourism.
Wylie is an accomplished horseman (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 raising and training cutting horses.
On April 25, 2007 "Montana Lullaby" was declared the official lullaby of Montana. A yodel by Gustafson was used to write the lullaby. Montana was the first state to have an official lullaby.
Wylie & the Wild West continue to record and tour on a regular basis. They are one of the nation's top folk and cowboy festival attractions with their energetic dance tunes, aesthetic ballads, and Wylie's unique Northern Plain's yodeling. Wylie's songwriting continues to gracefully challenge the preconceptions of their genre and boldly reflect the ever-evolving West.
Wylie & the Wild West have released 20 albums through May 2014 most which are available on iTunes, Amazon, and the band's official website: www.wyliewebsite.com.
Yahoo! on the Road Summer 2013 promotional tour for Yahoo!,
God Made a Farmer Dodge television advertisement. January 2013 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),
Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, Tennessee (more than 50 guest appearances),
The National Folk Festival (most recently in 2011),
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),
A Prairie Home Companion (2006, 2010),
The Kennedy 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,
Space Ghost Coast to Coast (1996 episode: "Freak Show")
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license