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Port Huron man claims he’s still the world’s greatest whistler

Apr 4, 2017

 


He calls himself the World's Greatest Whistler.

 

It’s hard to argue with that. Check out his song "Peanut Butter Blues" below.

 

That's Ralph Giese of Port Huron.

He practices a unique whistling style, using his throat rather than his lips. He’s been perfecting the technique since age three, five decades ago. Giese rolls his tongue on the roof of his mouth, and funnels air across it.

 

Whistler Ralph Giese and guitarist Brian Sprung.
Credit Courtesy of Ralph Giese

“It serves like a reed,” he said, “like a reed on a clarinet.”

 

As a child, Giese had a hard time pucker whistling, and he still struggles with it. So he taught himself an alternative method, improvising whistle techniques and songs throughout his youth.

 

As a sixth and seventh grader, he used the skill to annoy his teachers. But at age 17, he found himself at the World’s Whistle-Off in Carson City, Nevada.

 

Only a few others do open-mouth style whistling like Giese. He joked that it might be his fault.

 

“They see me and then they end up retiring or something,” he said.

 

Despite his obscure talent, Giese’s musical passions are for big, loud, mainstream rock and roll.

 

“I wanted to be a rock and roll star with my whistling,” he said. “I knew for sure the Rolling Stones were gonna have me whistle on one of their records.”

 

But the Stones never called, lamented Giese.

 

“Nobody has anything for whistlers.”

 

As a result, Giese brought on a guitarist, Brian Sprung, and formed a whistler-and-accompanist band called “Whistler’s Muthers.”

 

As the "World’s Greatest Whistler," Giese has been on America's Got Talent and Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show:

 

 

Despite the lack of respect he gets from other musicians, he said he still works full-time to enhance his unusual instrument.

 

Ultimately, he strives to “whistle the way Jimmy Page shreds his guitar.”

 

For the full conversation, listen above. To hear another song by Giese, called "These Times," listen below.

 

 

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