Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 17: Johnny Weissmuller a.k.a. "Tarzan"

On this date in History .... 1924:

Johnny Weissmuller sets a 100-yard freestyle record in swimming in the 1924 Paris Olympics, winning three gold medals and a bronze, and took two more gold medals in the 1928 Olympics. His record includes 52 US Nat’l Championships, setting 67 world records, and selected as the greatest swimmer of the 20th century. He never lost a race and retired with an unbeaten Amateur record.
After moving to BelAir in California, he built a home with a 300 foot serpentine swimming pool.
Even though he was the sixth person to play “Tarzan” in movies, he was the most well-known “Tarzan” actor and the first to be associated with the “Tarzan yell”.  While a guest on a 1970 talk show, he explained the yell was created by splicing together three vocalists: a soprano, an alto … and a hog caller. Maureen O’Sullivan (“Jane”) swore that Weissmuller did the yell.  Some claim the yell was created by the studio via the splicing technique but that Weissmuller learned to do the yell himself.
The two video links are clips of a Tarzan movie and a documentary with conversation regarding how the Tarzen-yell was created.

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