1923 – June 19
Ottis Dewey Whitman, Jr. (January 20, 1923 – June 19, 2013), known professionally as Slim Whitman, was an American country music and western music singer/songwriter and instrumentalist known for his yodeling abilities and his smooth high octave falsetto. He sold in excess of 120 million records.
He was consistently more popular throughout Europe, and in particular Britain, than in his native America, especially with his covers of pop standards, movie songs, love songs, folk tunes and gospel melodic hymns. His 1955 hit single “Rose Marie” held the Guinness World Record for the longest time at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart until Bryan Adams broke the record in 1991 after 36 years. In the US his “Indian Love Call” (1952) and “Secret Love” (1953) both reached number 2 on the Billboard country chart. Whitman had a string of hits from the mid-1960s and into the 1970s and became known to a new generation of fans through television direct marketing in the 1980s.
In 1955 in the United Kingdom, he had a No.1 hit on the pop music charts with “Rose Marie.” With 11 weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart, the song set a record that lasted for 36 years. Soon after, Whitman was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry, and in 1957, along with other musical stars, he appeared in the film musical Jamboree. Despite this exposure, he never achieved the level of stardom in the United States that he did in Britain, where he had a number of other hits during the 1950s and 1960s. Throughout the early 1970s, he continued to record and was a guest on Wolfman Jack’s television show The Midnight Special.
After 1957 Whitman lived at Woodpecker Paradise, in Middleburg, Florida, a city located south of Orange Park, Florida in Clay County.
Whitman’s wife of 67 years, Alma “Jerry” Crist Whitman, was a songwriter and embroiderer as well as the daughter of a church minister. She died in 2009 as a result from complications arising from kidney failure. They had a daughter Sharon, and a son Byron K. Whitman, who is also a performer and who toured and recorded with Whitman on numerous occasions.
Slim Whitman died of heart failure on June 19, 2013 surrounded by family at Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Florida. He was 90.
Read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slim_Whitman