Country Singer Slim Whitman, Known For His Yodel, Dies

Play associated audio

Country singer Slim Whitman, whose yodel helped sell millions of albums in the United States, died overnight on Wednesday in a Florida hospital, his family tells the BBC.

He was 90.

While Whitman was at some point known as "America's Favorite Folksinger," he was actually far more popular overseas. As the BBC explains, in 1955 his hit Rose Marie became the longest-reigning No. 1 single until it was knocked off the perch by a Bryan Adams hit in 1991.

The AP adds:

"Whitman's tenor falsetto and ebony mustache and sideburns became global trademarks — and an inspiration for countless jokes — thanks to the TV commercials that pitched his records.

"But he was a serious musical influence on early rock, and in the British Isles, he was known as a pioneer of country music for popularizing the style there. Whitman also encouraged a teen Elvis Presley when he was the headliner on the bill and the young singer was making his professional debut.

"Whitman recorded more than 65 albums and sold millions of records, including 4 million of 'All My Best' that was marketed on TV."

Whitman was introduced to younger audiences by the film Mars Attacks! Aliens were taking over the Earth when humans discover that Whitman's yodel in Indian Love Call destroys them:

We'll leave you with one of his biggest hits, Rose Marie:

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Bill Cosby Admitted To Acquiring Drugs To Give To A Woman For Sex

NPR's Kelly McEvers interviews MaryClaire Dale, an Associated Press reporter, about the court documents showing Cosby said in 2005 he got quaaludes to give to a woman with whom he wanted to have sex.
NPR

Mechanization Brings Quick Change To Borneo Region Known For 'Slow Rice'

A company is introducing mechanized rice farming to the interior of Malaysian Borneo for the first time. Scientists say the change may damage the bonds between the local people and their environment.
WAMU 88.5

New Challenges To Recycling In The United States

Falling commodity prices are putting a squeeze on American recycling companies. What this means for cities, counties and the future of recycling programs in the United States.

WAMU 88.5

UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski

Kojo chats with Freeman Hrabowski, the president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, about the future of higher education - and what he's doing to steer African-American students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.