Sunday, 20 January 2019

Slim Whitman born 20 January 1924


Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr (January 20, 1923 – June 19, 2013), professionally known by stage name Slim Whitman, was an American country music, western music and folk music artist singer-songwriter and instrumentalist known for his yodeling abilities and his smooth, high, three-octave-range falsetto in a style christened as "countrypolitan". He stated that he had sold in excess of 120 million records.

Although once known as "America's Favorite Folk Singer", he was consistently more popular throughout Europe, and in particular the United Kingdom, than in his native America, especially with his covers of pop standards, film songs, love songs, folk tunes, and melodic gospel hymns.
As a child, Slim Whitman (born Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr.) became infatuated with music and learned to yodel listening to Montana Slim and Jimmie Rodgers records. At age 17, he married 15-year-old Geraldine Crist, a preacher's daughter. The newlyweds moved to a 40-acre farm south of Jacksonville, Florida, where Whitman worked as a meat packer. While working in the plant, he suffered an accident and lost two fingers on his left hand. After the accident, he began working in a Tampa shipyard.

During World War II, Whitman served in the U.S. Navy, where he learned to play guitar. Following the war, he returned to the shipyard and also joined a local minor-league baseball team, the Plant City Berries. Whitman remained with the team through 1948, but then began building a singing career at several Tampa radio stations, eventually creating a backup band, the Variety Rhythm Boys.

Slim Whitman got his first big break after Colonel Tom Parker -- who was managing Eddy Arnold at the time -- heard him singing on radio station WFLA. Parker landed a contract with RCA for Whitman by the end of 1948. After reluctantly complying with the label's request to change his first name to "Slim," he released his 
first single, "I'm Casting My Lasso Towards the Sky" -- eventually to become his theme song. He made his national debut on the Mutual Network's Smokey Mountain Hayride in the summer of 1949, and the following year joined The Louisiana Hayride. Despite his national exposure, Whitman's career wasn't making much of an impact, and he was forced to take a job as a part-time mailman.


                           

In the early '50s, he released a cover of Bob Nolan's "Love Song of the Waterfall," which became his breakthrough hit, peaking at number ten on the country charts; the follow-up single, "Indian Love Call," made him a star, peaking at number two on the country 
charts and crossing over into the pop Top Ten. Both sides of his next single -- "Keep It a Secret"/"My Heart Is Broken in Three" -- were also major hits and he continued to have a string of Top Ten hits into the mid-'50s.

In 1955, his title song for the film Rose-Marie became a smash on both sides of the Atlantic; following its success, Whitman joined the Grand Ole Opry, and then went to Britain in 1956 as the first country singer to play the London Palladium. Throughout the late '50s and early '60s, he had a string of British hits, including "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," "Unchain My Heart," and "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen."

Although he was experiencing great success in the U.K., Whitman's career was in neutral in the U.S. After 1954's "Singing Hills," he had only two Top 40 hits in the course of a decade. In 1965, he bounced back into the country Top Ten with "More Than Yesterday." For the next few years, he had a series of minor country hits, including "Rainbows Are Back in Style" (1968), "Happy Street" (1968), and "Tomorrow Never Comes" (1970). Throughout the early '70s, he continued to have minor hits, but in 1974, he retired from active recording.


In 1979, Whitman filmed a television commercial to support Suffolk Marketing's release of a collection of his greatest hits. On the strength of the commercials, All My Best sold four million records and became the best-selling television-marketed album in history. After its success, the label released Just for You in 1980, 
and The Best in 1982. Between 1980 and 1984, Whitman had a small run of minor hits, highlighted by 1980's number 15 hit "When." In the late '80s, he returned to television-marketed albums, releasing Slim Whitman: Best Loved Favorites in 1989 and 20 Precious Memories in 1991.

During the '90s, Whitman recorded infrequently but continued to tour successfully, particularly in Europe and Australia. His final release, Twilight on the Trail, appeared in 2010, and he died three years later of heart failure at the age of 90.

(Compiled mainly from a bio by Sandra Brennan @ AllMusic)

2 comments:

boppinbob said...

For Slim Whitman - The Man with The Singing Guitar” go here:

https://www.upload.ee/files/9449372/Slim_Whitman_-_CD1.rar.html

1. BY THE WATERS OF THE MINNETONKA
2. MY LOVE IS GROWING STALE
3. TEARS CAN NEVER DROWN THE FLAME - Narration: Bob Ross
4. BANDERA WALTZ
5. CHINA DOLL
6. PLEASE PAINT A ROSE
7. AN AMATEUR IN LOVE
8. END OF THE WORLD
9. MY HEART IS BROKEN IN THREE
10. BIRMINGHAM JAIL
11. STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
12. IN A HUNDRED YEARS OR MORE
13. DANNY BOY
14. KEEP IT A SECRET
15. ALL THAT I'M ASKING IS SYMPATHY
16. COLD EMPTY ARMS
17. NORTH WIND
18. RESTLESS HEART
19. LOVE SONG OF THE WATERFALL
20. HOW CAN I TELL
21. LORD HELP ME BE AS THOU
22. DARLIN' DON'T CRY
23. THERE'S A RAINBOW IN EVERY TEARDROP

This album presents a selection of some of the early recordings of a country music legend who has sold many millions of records around the world. Unlike so many artistes, even his early recordings were good and the voice was always strong and true. As you listen to the songs you can also hear how the vocal quality and control improved from those very early RCA cuts to some of the classic masters recorded only five years later as the Whitman "Shooting Arrows" sound evolved. Just a couple of years later, the phenomena of "Whitmania" would be witnessed for the first time as the sound of Slim Whitman crossed the Atlantic.

For “Slim Whitman - The Man with The Singing Guitar - Volume 2” go here:

https://www.upload.ee/files/9449381/Slim_Whitman_-_CD2.rar.html

1. ROSE MARIE
2. WHY?
3. RIDE AWAY
4. WABASH WALTZ
5. ROLL ON SILVERY MOON
6. WE STOOD AT THE ALTAR
7. I'LL DO AS MUCH FOR YOU SOMEDAY
8. INDIAN LOVE CALL
9. SONG OF THE OLD WATERWHEEL
10. I HATE TO SEE YOU CRY
11. LET'S GO TO CHURCH (NEXT SUNDAY MORNING) w. Dolores Watson
12. SINGING HILLS
13. I'LL NEVER PASS THIS WAY AGAIN
14. CATTLE CALL
15. SECRET LOVE
16. I'M CRYING FOR YOU
17. WHEN I GROW TOO OLD TO DREAM
18. I'M CASTING MY LASSO TOWARDS THE SKY
19. BEAUTIFUL DREAMER
20. HAUNTED HUNGRY HEART
21. WHIPPOORWILL YODEL (HE SLEEPS ALL DAY TRUE)
22. THERE'S A RAINBOW IN EVERY TEARDROP

In volume two, hear the sound that transformed Slim Whitman from a rural artiste to a worldwide superstar. Including the worldwide hit versions of "Rose Marie" and "Indian Love Call". Many rare early tracks previously hard to find on a single CD, early Whitman versions of "Beautiful Dreamer, Secret Love" and “When I Grow Too Old To Dream" and several outstanding examples of Slim Whitman's superb yodelling.

For “Slim Whitman - The Man with The Singing Guitar - Volume 3” go here:

https://www.upload.ee/files/9449390/Slim_Whitman_-_CD3.rar.html

1. SONG OF THE WILD
2. I’LL NEVER TAKE YOU BACK AGAIN
3. I TALK TO THE WAVES
4. HEART FULL OF LOVE
5. THE WHIFFENPOOF SONG
6. WARM WARM LIPS
7. I’LL NEVER STOP LOVING YOU
8. TUMBLING TUMBLEWEEDS
9. BLUE EYES CRYING IN THE RAIN
10. TELL ME
11. I’M A FOOL
12. THAT SILVER HAIRED DADDY OF MINE
13. SERENADE
14. DEAR MARY
15. THERE’S A LOVE KNOT IN MY LARIAT
16. AT THE END OF NOWHERE
17. I LEAVE THE MILKY WAY
18. CRYIN’ FOR THE MOON
19. A PETAL FROM A FADED ROSE
20. TOO LATE NOW
21. YOU HAVE MY HEART
22. WHEN MY BLUE MOON TURNS TO GOLD AGAIN

These 22 tracks include love songs, western songs, popular ballads, country standards and yodelling, plus examples of Whitman's beautiful "voice-break" style with such classic titles as "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain", "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", "Serenade", "I'm A Fool" and "That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine" Featuring many examples of the unique crying, soaring steel guitar that became known as "Shooting Arrows" and "Singing Guitar".
An enormous thank you to Xena Dress @ ACM2 blog for originally posting these 3 albums.

mel said...

Slim Whitman was not only very popular in Europe and the UK, but he had a tremendous following in South Africa, where he toured and recorded an LP in both English and Afrikaans in 1965. It's been said that he was more popular in S A than he was in the U S.