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R.I.P. Ottis Dewey "Slim" Whitman Jr.

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by DallasCowpoke, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    [youtube]J3C9ygie2lQ[/youtube]

    MIAMI (AP) — Country singer Slim Whitman, the high-pitched yodeler who sold millions of records through ever-present TV ads in the 1980s and 1990s and whose song saved the world in the film comedy "Mars Attacks!," died Wednesday at a Florida hospital. He was 90.
    Whitman died of heart failure at Orange Park Medical Center, his son-in-law Roy Beagle said.


    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.


    In 1952, Whitman had his first hit record, "Love Song of the Waterfall," which 25 years later became part of the soundtrack of the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Another Whitman hit from that year, "Indian Love Call," was used to humorous effect in the 1996 "Mars Attacks!" — his yodel causes the Martians' heads to explode.


    Born Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr. in Tampa on Jan. 23, 1923, he worked as a young man in a meatpacking plant, at a shipyard and as a postman.



    He was able to get on radio in Tampa and signed with RCA Records in 1949 with the help of Col. Tom Parker, who later became Presley's longtime manager. RCA gave Whitman the show business name Slim — he was a slender 6-foot-1 — to replace his uninspiring birth name.
    He crossed paths with Presley in July 1954 when he starred at a concert in a Memphis park just as Presley — mistakenly billed as "Ellis Presley" in one ad for the show — was launching his career.


    According to Peter Guralnick's book "Last Train to Memphis," Presley's brief, energetic turn on stage caused a wild reaction from the crowd. When Whitman came on for his performance, he told the audience: "You know, I can understand your reaction, 'cause I was standing backstage and I was enjoying it just as much as you."


    With Whitman's early hits, he became a star on the "Louisiana Hayride" radio show.


    His version of "Rose Marie," the title song from the venerable operetta that spawned "Indian Love Call," became a huge hit in England in 1955, staying at No. 1 on the charts for 11 weeks.


    Whitman's other hits included "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You," ''Red River Valley," ''Danny Boy" and "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen."


  2. REDVOLUTION

    REDVOLUTION Return to Dominance

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    Wow, he sold more albums than the beatles and elvis combined!!
  3. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Saw a long interview with 'Slim' by Tom Snyder. Whitman was actually a pretty interesting character, had some great stories. RIP
  4. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    It was the mustache. It COMPELLED you to buy! :p:
  5. REDVOLUTION

    REDVOLUTION Return to Dominance

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    Too funny! Slim Whitman reference.


    [youtube]-MhgnMX73Pw[/youtube]
  6. PJTHEDOORS

    PJTHEDOORS Well-Known Member

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    Where did you read that?

    According to RIAA, Elvis has sold over 134.5 million albums units only in the United States, making him the best selling solo albums artist of all time in this country, second overall, behind The Beatles. According to Presley's record label, RCA, their estimation is the best selling artist of all time, with sales to over 1 billion records worldwide in all formats (600 million only in the United States).
  7. MichaelWinicki

    MichaelWinicki "You want some?" Staff Member

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    Sorry to hear of this.

    Those commercials were a "staple" back then.


    As a side note the only other person I've yodel like that was my buddy Risen Star. :D
  8. Risen Star

    Risen Star Likes Collector Zone Supporter

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    I do a mean Tip Toe Through the Tulips.
  9. PJTHEDOORS

    PJTHEDOORS Well-Known Member

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    Those who are old enough, remember this?

    Andy Kaufman sings the Slim Whitman song "Rosemarie" on Late Night with David Letterman, while wearing a turban and some type of diaper.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU2Xtf8VkbU
  10. DallasCowpoke

    DallasCowpoke Fierce Allegiance

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    HOLY CRAP! I thought I'd seen everyone of those LN episodes. If not live, at least in rerun during their summer breaks. Somehow, that 1 I missed!

    No mater what you thought of Kaufman, he was 1 creative SOB, and IMO, fully aware of what he was doing.

    The look he turns and gives the "butler" when he pauses after he 1st tries to deep-throat the sword, was priceless.

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