Country singer Slim Whitman, the high-pitched yodeler whose career spanned decades, passed away at a Florida hospital on Wednesday of heart failure. He was 90.
The singer appeared in many television ads in 1980s and 1990s, also known for his song saving the world from aliens in the comedy “Mars Attacks!”.
Slim Whitman, born Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr., passed away at Orange Park Medical Center today, according to his son-in-law Roy Beagle.
Whitman’s tenor falsetto and trademark mustache and sideburns became his trademarks. Slim encouraged teenage Elvis Presley when the young star began his career.
Whitman sold millions of records and made over 65 albums in his career than spanned six decades. He told the AP in 1991, “All of a sudden, here comes a guy in a black and white suit, with a mustache and a receding hairline, playing a guitar and singing `Rose Marie’. They hadn’t seen that.”
He yodeled throughout his career and had a three-octave singing range. Whitman said his yodeling took lots of practice, stating, “It’s like a prize fighter. He knows he has a fight coming up, so he gets in the gym and trains. So when I have a show coming up, I practice yodeling.”
Slim Whitman’s first hit record came in 1952, “Love Song of the Waterfall”. His other hit “Indian Love Call” was used in the 1996 film “Mars Attacks!”, where he yodeling caused aliens’ heads to explode.
He was survived by his daughter, Sharon Beagle, and his son, Byron Whitman.
Whitman told the AP in 1991 that he wanted to be remembered as “a nice guy.”
“I don’t think you’ve ever heard anything bad about me, and I’d like to keep it that way. I’d like my son (Bryon) to remember me as a good dad. I’d like the people to remember me as having a good voice and a clean suit.”
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