Slim Whitman has died at the age of 90. The “yodeling” country legend was known for his unique style and falsetto singing. Whitman reportedly suffered from heart failure.
Whitman was a native of Tampa, Florida. He enjoyed listening to music, and eventually learned how to sing and play guitar. Much of his early inspiration came from his hero Jimmie Rodgers “The Singing Brakeman.” While he enjoyed performing as a hobby, he did not make it a career until he finished his Navy tour at the end of World War II.
As explained by Hollywood Reporter, Whitman was formally discovered while he played with a band called Variety Rhythm Boys. Manager Tom Parker offered to represent Whitman, eventually landing him a deal with RCA.
Slim Whitman’s first single was released in 1948. In 1952 he made the top ten charts with “Keep It A Secret,” and “Indian Love Call.” Whitman maintained a steady presence on the charts for the next three years.
In 1965 Whitman returned to the charts with “More Than Yesterday.” Over the next nine years he released 22 more singles and became famous worldwide.
As reported by CNN, Whitman enjoyed another career rebound in the 1980s when he appeared on television, marketing several different albums. In the late 1980’s Whitman focused primarily on promoting compilation albums, including “Best Loved favorites” and “20 Precious Memories.”
Most recently his work was featured in the 1996 movie “Mars Attacks.” His “Indian Love Call” caused bodily injury to aliens in the film.
Whitman became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1965. He was well known and continued to tour in the US and in Europe for decades.
Slim Whitman released his final album in 2010.
Surrounded by his loved ones, Slim Whitman died this morning. Alma, his wife of 67 years preceded him in death. He is survived by one son and one daughter.
[Image via Wikimedia]