The Yodelling Yobbos: Hit After Punch After Theft Into Notoriety

The Yodelling Yobbos

The Yodelling Yobbos took the world by storm in the 1920s. Featuring a double act sister band skilled in the art of the yodel, with hits such as Yodel-Aye-He-Hoo they stormed the charts and charmed the US public.

However, in their early days the sisters also became notorious for their anarchic antics. Rarely turning up on time to their own gigs, their behaviour sent a giant “SCREW YOU!” to American audiences.

The dent this left in The Yodelling Yobbos’ popularity led to a life of crime before fading into total obscurity. This… is their story.

The Rise and Fall of The Yodelling Yobbos

Formed in July 1919 when bored one afternoon in Burlington, Vermont, Mary Jane Janet Jackson Johnson (“Mary” to her friends) and her younger sister Susan Janet Jane Jackson Johnson (“Susan” to her friends) partook in a spot of yodelling.

Intending this is a bit of a laugh, the pair found themselves to be yodelling geniuses.

As such, they took their act to local parlours and taverns, where they performed to drunks who’d applaud with rapture (and only occasionally throw a tankard of ale at them).

Spurred on by this success, they gave the band the name The Yodellers.

However, after they arrived 15 minutes late to a gig up the road from their family home, and didn’t apologise for this infraction, the public was outraged.

21-year-old Mary, the band’s figurehead, told the local press:

“I don’t see what the problem is! We were fifteen minutes late because Susan took a detour to rob the local produce store. The next thing we know we have all this negative press. It’s like audiences have no patience. Fucking… PRICKS!”

The press dubbed the band The Yodelling Yobbos. Such anarchic ways had not been seen since the upper-class British Smug Pistols from the previous century!

The sisters loved the name so much, they patented it, filed a copyright claim, and it became their official title as they headed to New York for fame and fortune.

Debut Album and Further Robberies

The sisters arrived in New York in January 1923. Renting a cheap motel room, they performed each night to enthralled New Yorkers.

During the day, they’d rob as many citizens and stores as possible.

They evaded arrest by fluttering their eyelids and standing there looking pretty, with men convinced the yodelling duo was too attractive to commit crimes.

Picked up by a record studio, Mary and Susan were marketed for their marryiability and fine yodelling crooning. Their eponymous debut album stormed the US charts, reaching #11 for a week. The hit singles Yodel-Aye-He-Hoo and Loaf of Bread proved quite popular with audiences.

The future was bright for the sisters.

However, the robberies continued. 19-year-old Susan once robbed 37 men in one 12-hour frenzy, also taking a pottery store into the bargain. When police investigated the sister’s motel room, Susan explained to them:

“Why do I have so many pots? Because I love pots, fine sirs!”

Mary and Susan then fluttered their eyelids at the police officers, who apologised profusely for interrupting the fair maidens on that day.

However, as the crimes continued unabated it took the efforts of one curmudgeonly old police officer (Detective Bob McDonalds) not swayed by appearances to put an end to The Yodelling Yobbo’s crime spree.

After one show, the sisters robbed all 150 people in the auditorium, demanding all audience members place their belongings in a giant barrel at the front of the stage. Then, during the intermission, the sisters swiped the barrel and legged it one.

Bemused audience members initially weren’t going to complain, so as not to kick up a fuss, as the two women were too pretty for that!

However, Detective McDonalds heard of the tale.

He stormed to the sister’s motel room, smashed the door down with an axe, and arrested Mary on the spot. She was detained, found guilty of stuff like theft, and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

As of Susan? Why, the fair maiden was not in the motel room.

Rumour has it she eloped to the United Kingdom, but the curmudgeonly old police offer never was able to ascertain her whereabouts.

Jailed for Petty Crimes and Yodelling

Detective McDonalds pursued the death penalty for both sisters, but this was rejected by the judge. He ruled the sisters were too pretty to be executed.

But the sentence was long and brought and end to The Yodelling Yobbos.

The press remained keen on their story. An investigative journalist, McDonalds Bobson Jr., intended to write a book about the sisters and how they were too pretty to be guilty. And how they should be set free immediately as any civilized society should!

From her prison cell in January 1933, Mary told Bobson Jr.:

“Sure, we were young and foolhardy. And total bastards as well. But in more ways than one, we were the hottest yodellers in town. Nothing was going to stop us from reaching the top! And, well, sure… the police force stopped us from reaching the top. They put us in prison. But I maintain to this day we are innocent! Pretty girls don’t commit crimes, right? So why don’t you walk over to that prison guard over there, punch his lights out, and set me free? You shall receive a peck on the cheek for your troubles, fine sir!”

The reporter promptly followed Mary’s bidding. Once free from her cell, she punched Bobson Jr’s brains in, hoiked it over the prison walls, and fled for a new life in the United Kingdom.

Her sister Susan was never heard from ever again.

Nor was Mary.

It’s believed they may have formed a skiffle group in late ’30s London. Reports emerged of a pair of yodelling sisters with an uncanny resemblance to The Yodelling Yobbos (who’d gained small time fame in 1920s UK), where they resided in Hammersmith.

Police ignored the reports, explaining the women were too pretty to be suspects, and spoke with unconvincing English accents so, therefore, couldn’t possibly but the suspects from the United States of America.

However, it was noted crime rates skyrocketed in the vicinity with the arrival of the women. But once WWII broke out no one gave a damn anymore (due to bombings etc. and other pressing issues).

If it was The Yodelling Yobbos… they gamed the system. And they won, thanks to yodelling.

Dispense with some gibberish!

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