A video of Yodeling sensation Mason Ramsey performing at his local Walmart went viral on social media at the end of March. Last week, the superstore capitalized on the 11-year-old performer’s success by offering him a gig at the store where he became a hit.
A tweet from the official Walmart Twitter account on April 3 said the retail giant would put on a concert featuring Ramsey at his local store in Harrisburg, Illinois. A follow-up tweet from the company asked multiple music artists including Snoop Dogg, Blake Shelton, and Katy Perry if they would be up for performing with Ramsey. The retail giant also started the #YodelChallenge to find another yodeler to join the show.
Ramsey, nicknamed the “Yodeling Kid,” made a name for himself in his hometown of Golconda, Illinois, prior to his viral fame. In a tweet, he explained his spontaneous performance in the store was due to a woman recognizing him and asking for a song. “That is were we normally go shopping after a performance. I am in a singing mood and if someone asks me for a song I won’t turn them down,” he tweeted.
Yodeling is not an easy form of singing. Originally used as a form of communication for Alpine herders, the unique yodel sound became part of European folk music before it was borrowed by cowboys in the United States, which led to its popularity in early 20th century country music. It takes a lot of effort and practice to contract the vocal muscles to create the vibration in the voice box that produces the yodel sound.
Walmart has yet to give a date for the concert. Ramsey did reply to the company’s tweet saying, “Sign me up. I’ll be there!”
Since the video went viral, a variety of remixes have been uploaded to YouTube covering different music styles including EDM, Trap, and a remix featuring rapper Flo Rida. Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown did her own dance tribute, and one New Yorker gave his rendition of the Hank Williams song on a subway platform.