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Slim Whitman

Though he was once known as "America's Favorite Folksinger," Slim Whitman was, for the majority of his career, more famous in Europe than in the United States. Best remembered for his early-'50s hit singles like "Love Song of the Waterfall," "Indian Love Call," and "Singing Hills," Whitman was an excellent yodeler known for singing mellow, romantic, and clean-cut songs.

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. ~ Sandra Brennan
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Straight From The Heart/Tomorrow Never Comes

1. Irresistible

3. Stranger On The Shore

7. Flower Of Love

8. Little Arrows

9. When There Is Love

12. When You Were Sixteen

14. Tomorrow Never Comes

17. Moonlight On The Colorado

18. Do What You Do, Do Well

19. You're Coming Home

21. A World Worth Living In

22. Let Me Live Again

23. Come Take My Hand

24. Blue Canadian Rockies

x

Track List: Indian Love Call

1. I'm Casting My Lasso Towards The Sky

2. Birmingham Jail

3. Love Song Of The Waterfall

4. Indian Love Call

5. China Doll

6. Amateur In Love

7. By The Waters Of Minnetonka

8. Keep It A Secret

9. My Heart Is Broken In Three

10. There's A Rainbow In Every Teardrop

11. Danny Boy

12. North Wind

13. Secret Love

14. There's A Loveknot In My Lariat

15. Rose Marie

16. Beautiful Dreamer

17. The Singing Hills

18. You Have My Heart

19. When I Grow Too Old To Dream

20. The Cattle Call

21. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

22. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again

23. That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine

24. Roll On Silvery Moon

25. Haunted, Hungry Heart

26. I'll Never Stop Loving You

27. Song Of The Wild

28. Tumbling Tumbleweeds

x

Track List: Absolutely The Best Of Slim Whitman

1. Indian Love Call

2. Love Song Of The Waterfall

3. Keep It A Secret

4. My Heart Is Broken In Three

5. North Wind

6. Secret Love

7. Rose-Marie

8. Singing Hills

9. Cattle Call

10. I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

11. Lovesick Blues

12. Unchain My Heart

13. The Bells That Broke My Heart

14. More Than Yesterday

x

Track List: Vintage Collections

1. Love Song Of The Waterfall

2. Indian Love Call

3. Song Of The Old Water Wheel

4. Keep It A Secret

5. My Heart Is Broken In Three

6. North Wind

7. There's A Rainbow In Every Teardrop

8. Secret Love

9. Rose-Marie

11. I Talk To The Waves

12. More Than Yesterday

13. Rainbows Are Back In Style

14. Guess Who

15. It's A Sin To Tell A Lie

x

Track List: Rose Marie

Disc 1

1. I'll Do As Much For You Someday

2. I'll Never Pass This Way Again

3. Paint A Rose On The Garden Wall

4. Tears Can Never Drown The Flame

5. I'm Casting My Lasso Towards The Sky

6. Wabash Waltz

7. I'm Crying For You

8. Birmingham Jail

9. Let's Go To Church (Next Sunday Morning)

11. Love Song Of The Waterfall

12. My Love Is Growing Stale

13. Bandera Waltz

14. End Of The World

15. In A Hundred Years Or More

16. Why

17. Cold Empty Arms

18. Blue River

19. Indian Love Call

20. China Doll

21. An Amateur In Love

22. Song Of The Old Waterwheel

24. Keep It A Secret

25. My Heart Is Broken In Three

26. All That I'm Asking Is Sympathy

27. How Can I Tell

Disc 2

1. There's A Rainbow In Every Teardrop

2. I'm Casting My Lasso Towards The Sky

3. Restless Heart

4. There's A Rainbow In Every Teardrop

5. Danny Boy

6. North Wind

7. Darlin' Don't Cry

8. Stairway To Heaven

9. Lord, Help Me Be As Thou

10. Warm, Warm Lips

11. Ride Away

12. Secret Love

13. Why

14. We Stood At The Altar

15. There's A Loveknot In My Lariat

16. Too Late Now

17. I Leave The Milky Way

18. Rose Marie

19. Heart Full Of Love

20. Cattle Call

21. Beautiful Dreamer

22. Singing Hills

23. Haunted Hungry Heart

24. I Hate To See You Cry

25. You Have My Heart

26. When I Grow Too Old To Dream

27. Cattle Call

28. Song Of The Wild

29. I Talk To The Waves

Disc 3

1. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain

2. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again

3. That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine

4. A Petal From A Faded Rose

5. I'll Never Take You Back Again

6. Song Of The Wild

7. Lord Protect My Darling

8. Cryin' For The Moon

9. Roll On Silvery Moon

10. Haunted Hungry Heart

11. I Talk To The Waves

12. At The End Of Nowhere

13. I'll Never Stop Loving You

14. Song Of The Wild

15. Tumbling Tumbleweeds

16. Tell Me

17. I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

18. I'm A Fool

19. Serenade

20. The First One To Find The Rainbow

21. Brahms' Lullaby

22. In The Valley Of The Moon

23. Dear Mary

24. I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

25. Dear Mary(

26. Cryin' For The Moon

27. The Whiffenpoof Song

28. Curtain Of Tears

Disc 4

1. Smoke Signals

2. Among My Souvenirs

3. Tree In The Meadow

4. At The Close Of A Long, Long Day

5. I Must Have Been Blind

6. You're The Only One

7. Riding The Range For Jesus

8. Roundup In Glory

9. At The End Of Nowhere

10. Careless Love

11. Hawaiian Cowboy

12. Warm, Warm Lips

13. I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

14. Since You've Gone

15. An Amateur In Love

16. Lovesick Blues

17. Many Times

18. Forever

19. Unchain My Heart

20. Once In A Lifetime

21. Tormented

22. Candy Kisses

23. Hush-A-Bye

24. Careless Hands

25. A Very Precious Love

26. Put Your Trust In Me

27. When It's Springtime In The Rockies

28. At The End Of Nowhere

29. Mexicali Rose

30. My Best To You

31. Cowpoke

Disc 5

1. Wherever You Are

2. I'll Sail My Ship Alone

3. River Of Tears

4. Blues Stay Away From Me

5. A Fool Such As I

6. The Letter Edged In Black

7. Too Tired To Care

8. A Tree In The Meadow

9. The Prisoner's Song

10. Heartbreak Hill

11. I'll Never See Maggie Alone

12. When I Call On You

13. You're The Only One

14. Blues Stay Away From Me

15. I'll Sail My Ship Alone

16. What Kind Of God (Do You Think You Are)

17. A Tree In The Meadow

18. I'll Walk With God

19. Whispering Hope

20. I'm A Pilgrim

21. An Evening Prayer

22. Jesus Took My Burden

23. Two Loves Have I

24. Sunrise

25. Walk Beside Me

26. Each Step I Take

27. The Great Judgement Morning

28. He Lives On High

29. Today Is Mine

30. When I Go To My Garden

Disc 6

1. Twilla Lee

2. Roll River Roll

3. Rose Marie

4. Indian Love Call

5. Amateur In Love

6. Song Of The Old Water Wheel (Water Effect)

7. All That I'm Asking Is Sympathy

8. How Can I Tell You

9. Danny Boy

10. Warm, Warm Lips

11. Ride Away

12. Rose Marie

13. Haunted Hungry Heart

14. At The Close Of A Long, Long Day

15. Unchain My Heart

16. Tormented

17. Candy Kisses

18. Hush-A-Bye

Comments

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Nobody sings a melody quite like Slim Whitman, his style and voice is truly unique,Coupl e d with the famous singing guitar, it is a joy to listen to. Keep playing .
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Slim has a younger brother, Robert, who also plays guitar and has a nice voice.
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I am 71 yrs and have been listening to Slim and his singing guitar since a very young child. I love his style .It takes me right back.
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I'm 77 yrs. old. Was listening to Slim when it wasn't cool. Still am listening
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Roll on Slim! Your Falsetto is used in the Greatest Way!
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Another great one by. Slim!
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there is no better smooth yodeler than Slim Whitman. George Jones had smooth songs.
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there is no better balladeer than Tex Ritter.
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Tex Ritter Wonderful
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i'm a fan of The George Jones
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mmjm117
I'm 74 yrs. old and I remember my mother listening to Slim on albums.
I also listen to him and think he was one of the best.
Thanks for the memories.
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Do a youtube search for Slim Whitman and Andy Kaufman. Slim sings I Remember You and leaves Kaufman dumbstruck in awe
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Johnny Cash my favorite
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One of my favorite country singers
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Ilike all of slim whitman songs it would be nice to hear the whole song
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Perhaps the last of the great "Singing Cowboys"...c e r t a i n l y , one of the best. Thanks for the melodies...m a y you Rest in Peace.
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Another great has passed on to Hillbilly Heaven. RIP Slim!
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one of the greats
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Slim Whitman is so uniquie, he has a style all his own.
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rcavalier86
I discovered Slim Whitman a few years ago. To me, he was a new voice and I was really impressed. One of the best!!
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one of the countys best.
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Always loved Slim Whitman
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dudrop22
He is the greatest! I think all of his songs are great.
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we all love...godri v e n people...mus i c so inspires us allllllaloha . . t o m m y t .
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jnnyrankin
hi
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Slim is a truely underappreci a t e d vocal talent by today's modern, American music fans. I'm 37 yrs old, and really love Slim's sound. An original, hope his legacy is never misplaced or forgotten.
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I have all his recordings and love all of them . since 1953 on Louisiana Hayride.
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georgesr67
slim has always be my man 55 years when sings i just feel good i am 71 and still love his music hes the best his music will live for ever
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Been a fan for 50+ years, One of akind in my book and rates a BIG 10
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Some Country fans and I enjoyed Slim Whitman when he appeared at 'Frank Daileys Meadowbrook' nightclub in Maple Grove NJ in the early '50s. The Meadowbrook was infamous in the '40s for big name 'Big Bands' such as Glenn Miller, etc. It brought real stars of Country music to the midst of many fans. Slim was great! He will always be a favorite of mine.
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I've been listening to Slim since Indian Love Call was on the charts. I've met him and his son, Byran, and both are gentlemen. Byran is fantastic and Slim is my favorite. My wife and I have followed their shows all over the northeast and every show was great. Best to both of them.
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I love his hign voice. Slim I love to hear him yodal.
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In the middle 50's I had a 78rpm of slims song "TELL ME" I have not found it since,but will continue to search. I also looked for his song "MY BEST TO YOU" PANDORA HAS IT. I too, wish i could let him know how I have loved his music for the last 50 years My best to you Slim,Marjean
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After 57 years of listening to Slim Whitman,I still am amazed and awed by his voice. In my opinion, he has no equal.In vocal power and range, he has it all. I love the man.
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In the 70's when the Best of Slim Whitman was being advertised alot on TV,and the add said "Slim has sold over 10 Million Records", Johnny carson made a big joke "Slim who? 10 Million Records? Who's ever heard of him?" Well, he found out. He got so meny letters that he had Slim on the show, several times.
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Best "I Remember You" of all time, and this song been sung by many Of the greatest.
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the voice range on this guy amazing.
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cms0841
absolutely -- he's best
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THANK YOU PANDORA ,PLAY IT AGAIN
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more of this would be fine
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best of best one of a kind
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Slim's music and singing has been of great comfort to me in times of distress. I have several of his albums and would listen to him sing over any other artists. I often wished I could tell him how much his music meant to me.
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one of the worlds best

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