Country music star Slim Whitman dies, aged 90

Famous yodeller passes away at Orange Park Medical Center in Florida

Country musician Slim Whitman has died at the age of 90 from heart failure.

Whitman, famous for his yodelling style of singing, died at at Orange Park Medical Centre in Jacksonville, Florida yesterday (June 19). Born Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr in 1923, he served in the Navy before taking up performing in the 1940s, subsequently spending 11 weeks at Number One in the UK in 1955 with the song ‘Rose Marie’. The song held the record for the longest time spent at Number One in the UK until Bryan Adams beat it in 1991.

Discovered by Elvis Presley’s manager in 1955, Whitman later spoke to the BBC about headlining a show that featured a young Elvis opening the bill, saying: “He was just a guy on the show… and then he started wiggling and then he took over the show.”

Whitman’s other hits across his eight-decade career included ‘Love Song Of The Waterfall’, ‘Indian Love Call’, ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,’ ‘Red River Valley,’ ‘Danny Boy’ and ‘I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen’. Whitman released his final album, ‘Twilight On The Trail’, in 2012. It was his first new studio album in 26 years.

He is survived by his son, Byron Whitman and a daughter, Sharon Beagle.