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Winning Husband-Caller Sings Swan Shriek, Er, Song

August 12, 1991

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ It wasn’t exactly a swan song - swan shriek would be closer to it. Whatever you call it, Paula Tyler says Sunday’s winning performance in the State Fair’s husband-calling contest was her last.

The five-time champion said she plans to give her vocal cords a rest and become a judge in the annual event.

Seven women hollered and shouted for husbands as hundreds of fair-goers looked on. Most contestants called for their own husbands, but the second- place finisher issued a more general invitation.

″Husband 3/8 I need a husband,″ shouted Shayne Ayers of Springfield. ″I’m 29, I have a career, I make a lot of money, I need a husband 3/8″

Tyler’s winning husband-call was an attempt to wake up her husband, ″napping″ in the center of the show ring. With a mop in her hand and a bandanna on her head, the Chillicothe resident shrieked at her husband and even got the audience to chime in.

But when the shouts of ″Donald 3/8 Dooonnalld 3/8″ got her nowhere, Tyler took a direct route: a bucket of water.

For her efforts, Tyler got $325 in prize money.

Tyler said her husband-calling abilities have brought her plenty of attention, including a shot on the television game show ″To Tell the Truth.″

″It’s a lot of fun,″ she said. ″The worst thing about this is about five o’clock in the morning my phone will start ringing from radio shows.″

The contest had a companion event: hog-calling.

Stephen Spangler of Newark, dressed in overalls and a battered straw hat, won his second straight championship and $75 by warbling an old Hank Williams song as he pretended to slop the hogs, then hitting them with a series of high-pitched ″Sooooey 3/8″ calls.

Other contestants alternated traditional ″Soooooey 3/8″ shrieks with sharp cries of ″Here, pig, pig, pig. Here, pig.″

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