Alpine Record Label, San Mateo, Calif The Fraunfelder Tunes Download Page
Yodel Melody Record, Forever and Ever
Rondo Records, R-570; Fall 1947, The Milkmaid
The Story Tunes Family Page Schlitz Ads Radio Performances Promo Fliers Mama  Lullaby Sources & About Us

Music links from this page may be played on Windows, Macs or Ipads by using the QuickTime plug in. You can get the plug-in at this link: Apple QuickTime.   Rudee Rulla Recording was remastered from wax recordings in the 1990s.  Other recordings may contain may contain more imperfections as they were only partially remastered and copied from a wax record in the 1970s to cassette tape. They were eventually digitized in the 1990s.
Swiss Colony Stage, 1949 Wisconsin State Fair, 1949
Alpine Records Letterhead Logo 

Alpine Records

  Letterhead and Logo

Composite from letterhead provided
Courtesy Erika Williams

Rheiny Fraunfelder Ruth and Rheiny, Dec. 26, 1943
Rheiny with bow tie. Ruthie & Rheiny, 1943
Swiss Family Fraunfelder, 1949

Schlitz Beer Promotion Photo, Circa 1949

Swiss Picnic
Swiss Picnic, 1947
Canton, Ohio
Fraunfelders, 1932
Swiss Echo Yodeelers, 1932
One of the earliest of the musical family photos, this shot included Rheiny on the accordian (instead of a very young Betty) and to his right was sister Helen, who would not be part of the ultimate group with Ruth, Betty and Papa.
Papa With 12-foot Alpenhorn, 1932
Papa with a 12-foot, 175-year old Alpenhorn that was used by the Swiss to rally for war. Photo was taken in 1932 somewhere in California.

Yodel Melody Flyer

Hold Me Tight Polka, Yodel Melody 701A
1950s Yodel Melody Record of "Hold Me Tight Polka." It features Rheiny's comic singing to Betty that "Oh my gosh, you hold me tight" as they take a dance lesson together. Betty responds with, "One , two, three, four...round and round, what a dancer I have found! " Ruth was not on this Oregon recording done by the remaining trio. The song was composed by Papa and distributed on a 78 rpm record. Records were also released on red-colored "vinyl" as 45-rpm versions. Some of the record manufacturing was done by The Charles Eckart Co. of San Mateo, Calif.
Click on the record to hear the polka.

Electro-Vox Recording Studio Label, Los Angeles, Calif.
"Famous Old Swiss Yodel and Side 1, "Yodel Polka," were  tradiitional Swiss tunes recorded by Swiss Family Fraunfelder on Nov. 22, 1938 at Electro-Vox Recording Studio in Los Angeles, Calif. At the time of the recording, Rheiny was 18 years old, Betty was just under 16 years old and Ruth was 14 years old. Our digital recording is from  a 74-year old 78 rpm acetate record. Electro-Vox Recording Studio operated from 1930 to 2000 and was described by the Los Angeles Times as a pioneer in early recordings, especially for radio and the National Broadcasting Co. The Times said it was the longest continuously-operating recording studio anywhere.   Recordings courtesy of Dick Buckley and Megan Buckley.
Click on the record label to hear "Famous Old Swiss Yodel."
Download Music

1. Polka A La Swiss ##
John Keating Portland Studio

2. Rudee Rulla Polka *

3. Swiss Chalet

4. The Glarner Bueb

5. Swiss Warbler *

6. Drunten Im Unterland

7. Ski Yodel Waltz *

8. Hoppla Trudi Polka (4)

9. Milkmaid's Song

10. The Milkmaid - 1947 (9)
Rondo Records

11. Flueheli Waltz *

12. Cuckoo Yodel

13. Cuckoo Yodel - 1947 (2)
 Rondo Records

14. Midnight Waltz *

15. Happy Sunday

15B. Happy Sunday
 Swiss-German Only Version
 Recorded on Acetate Blank

16. Forever and Ever

17. Let's Be Happy

18. "Hali Halo" Yodel

19. Swiss Lullaby

20. Siebe Buebe (Seven Boys)

21. "Hold Me Tight" Polka *

22. "Yodel Laendler" (1)
 Rondo Records

23. "The Herd Song" (3)
 Rondo Records

24. Garibaldi Schottisch (5)
 Rondo Records

25. "Meiringer Laendler" (6)
Yodel Melody Records

26. "Heidi - Waltz" (7)
Yodel Melody Records

27. "Rocky Mountain Milk" #
 John Keating Portland Studio

28. Rocky Mountain Instrumental  #
 John Keating Portland Studio

29. Famous Old Swiss Yodel from the 17th Century - 1938 (8)

30. Yodel Polka - 1938 (8)

31. Yodel Polka - 1947(9) Rondo Records

32. Matterhorn Mazurka (10)
33. Alpine Life
Alpine Records, 78 RPM

Music Footnotes:

* Indicates songs believed to be written by Papa Fraunfelder (R. Fraunfelder, Sr.)

(1) Yodel Laendler, a traditional Swiss tune, was recorded from an original Rondo Records 78 rpm disc 571-B from the 1947-1950 era. Courtesy of Robert L. Campbell, Clemson University.

(2) This is an earlier version of the Cuckoo Yodel song above it. It is Rondo 571-A. It features the quartet. The other version featured a Betty solo as part of the trio. It was also provided by Dr. Campbell.

(3) Rondo Recording 569-A  Probably recorded in 1947. This was the version featured on "Swissconsin My Homeland," a 2004 compilation by the University of Wisconsin Center for Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures.

(4) This song is nearly identical to "Polka A La Swiss. It is either mismarked or a second title. If you have more information, let us know.

 (5) An instrumental Schottisch recorded by on the Rondo Record Label between 1947 and 1950. It was Rondo Record R-569-B, the flip side of Herd Song. Digitally remastered from a very worn 78 rpm record in 2012 by Chinook Wind Recording, University Place, WA. Master No.1001-B

 (6) A traditional Swiss Alpine waltz. R. Fraunfelder Sr. (Papa) did this arrangement and added yodels. Record courtesy of Cathy Dangremond, daughter of Helen Fraunfelder Kleser. Slight remastering from Yodel Melody 78 rpm record 705-A; Hood River, Ore.

  (7) An instrumental composed by Papa. Record courtesy of Cathy Dangremond, daughter of Helen Fraunfelder Kleser. Slight remastering fromYodel Melody 78 rpm record 705-B; Hood River, Ore. Fraunfelder promotional material claimed this tune was "praised" by Billboard Magazine

(8) Famous Old Swiss Yodel and this version of Yodel Polka were recorded on Nov. 22, 1938, Recordings courtesy of Dick Buckley and Megan Buckley. The recording was from a 74-year old 78 rpm acetate record made at Electro-Vox Recording Studios in Los Angeles, Calif. The company operated from 1930 to 2000 and was a pioneer in early recordings, especially for radio and the National Broadcasting Co.

(9) Rondo Record 570A and 570B, Recorded in approximately 1947. Arrangement for both The Milkmaid and Yodel Polka by R. Fraunfelder, Sr. Lyrics for The Milkmaid by R. Fraunfelder, Sr.

(10) Date unknown. Recorded on an Audiodisc brand acetate disc.

# Recorded by John Keating Portland Studios, probably 1950-1953. Words and music by R. Fraunfelder, Sr. Vocal by Betty Fraunfelder. Courtesy of Ryan Fraunfelder, Tigard, Ore. Transferred to digital recording by Chinook Wind Recording, University Place, WA. See original record label, below right on this page. These songs were advertising for "Rocky Mountain" brand milk, a product of the Cache Valley Dairy Association, founded in 1941 by a Swiss emigrant, Edwin Gossner. The Gossner family still operates Gossner Foods and specializes in Swiss cheese and milk.

# # Recorded by John Keating Portland Studios, probably 1950-1953. Transferred to digital recording in 2012 by Chinook Wind Recording, University Place, WA. This digital recording was made from a June 27, 1953 acetate master in Rheiny Fraunfelder's collection. Last released on the Yodel Melody Record Company Label (706B).
Ruthie Fraunfelder

Van Nuys News, 1936

Rondo571A The Cuckoo Waltz Rondo 571B
Rondo Records of Chicago put out this Swiss Family Fraunfelder recording  about a Cuckoo bird. This was a folk song from St Gallen, Switzerland, with an arrangement by Papa that they had been performing since the 1930s.

On the flip side, a traditional Swiss yodel song called "Yodel Laendler."  Rondo recordings provided by Dr. Robert L. Campbell, Clemson University.
Click on the record label above to hear or download the song.

Early Pic of Betty and Rheiny
Betty and Rheiny
Fraunfelders, 1940s

Milwaukee Journal; June 12, 1941
Milwaukee Journal; June 12, 1941

Portland Swiss Hall, 1940
Performing at the Swiss Hall, 1940
Portland, OR

Circa 1941
Circa 1941

Swiss Picnic, 1949
Swiss Picnic Performance, 1949

Betty at cow show
Left is Betty at cow show

Rocky Mountain Milk and the Fraunfelders

Below is the label for a unique 78 rpm record recorded by the John Keating Co. in Portland, Ore.  According to HistoryLink.Org, Keating was the Pacific Northwest's first recording studio, established in 1940. Keating was known for recording jingles and delayed radio programming. On this record, the Fraunfelders performed yodel songs that are advertising for Rocky Mountain brand milk, produced by a Utah dairy managed by Edwin Gossner, a Swiss emigrant (1909-1987).

 When the Fraunfelders were promoting it in the 1950s, the Rocky Mountain Dairy was the world's largest supplier of Swiss cheese, producing 10 tons per day, usually shipping them in 200-pound cheese wheels.  Rocky Mountain milk was produced by 1,600 dairies in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Today, the Gossner family still produces Swiss cheese and milk. Since 1966, it has been  under the "Gossner Foods" brand name in Logan, Utah. The firm also has plants in El Centro, California and Heyburn, Idaho. Today's Gossner Foods milk is processed under a high temperature so that it requires no refrigeration until the package is opened. For this reason, Gossner Foods ships milk to American soldiers around the world. 

Rocky Mountain Milk Record Label, 1950s

Siebe Buebe on the Alpine Label

Blurbs in Billboard Magazine 1951-54

Billboard Magazine, Sept. 5, 1953 Billboard Magazine, Aug 29 1953

During,1950-1954, there were frequent short references and reviews in Billboard Magtazine's International section about Swiss Family Fraunfelder records marketed by Alpine Record Co. of San Mateo, Calif.  and later by Yodel Melody records. The reviews often referenced a narrow potential audience for European music but were usually positive.  For instance, a 1954 brief review of the song Hali Halo was called "a fine piece of wax of its kind...aimed at the defined German market, it will have appeal." Left, the Billboard reviewer suggests the music "could be used as an eye-opener by pop, early-morning deejays."  Right, a 1953 notice refers to the Fraunfelder group as having a limited market but features  "a gal who yodels very well." The record label above features the traditional song "Siebe Buebe" or Seven Boys. A later release of that song is available on this page. (Label courtesy Ryan Fraunfelder.)

Help Us With The Search!

There may be many Fraunfelder records out there that we have not discovered and preserved.

We are looking for any record copy of the tune, "Hoppla Trudi Polka," probably produced on the Alpine label.

We are also interested in any Fraunfelder tunes on the Alpine Record label or promotional records that may have been distributed for dairy cooperatives, radio programming, or other commercial purposes.


Rondo 570A

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Swiss Family Fraunfelder

Updated May 16, 2022