On Wednesday, Slim Whitman, the famous country singer, died at the age of 90 at a Florida hospital. Roy Beagle, his son-in-law, said that the singer died of heart failure. He was being treated at Orange Park Medical Center.
The singer was famous as a high-pitched yodeler. During the 1980s and 1990s, he sold millions of records through ubiquitous television ads. He was probably most famous for saving the world by singing a song in a comedy movie called ‘Mars Attacks!’.
The heavy mustache, sideburns, and tenor falsetto of Whitman became global trademarks and sources of numerous jokes. However, early rock music took inspiration from him. In fact, he popularized country music style in the British Isle. For this reason, he was considered as a pathfinder of country music in that region. Even Elvis Presley took inspiration from him as a teen singer. When Presley was making his professional debut, the singer was already the headliner on the bill.
During the six decades of his career, Whitman released more than 65 albums. His ‘All My Best’ sold almost four-million copies while he sold more than million records in his entire career. He started his career in the later part of the 1940s but he turned into a cult figure during 1980s.
He was continuously the fodder for the monologues of Johnny Carson on NBC’s late night show for the major part of the 1980s and the target of Slim Whitman look-alike competitions.
He was born on January 23, 1923 in Tampa as Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr. Before becoming a singer, he tried his hand in different jobs including post office, shipyard, and meatpacking plant. In 1949, he signed with RCA Records that changed his name to Slim because of his 6.1-foot height with a slender body.
He left two children, a son named Byron Whitman and a daughter named Sharon Beagle.