Slim Whitman Dies, Country Music Singer Mourned (VIDEO)

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By Emma Koonse , Christian Post Reporter
June 19, 2013|12:58 pm

Slim Whitman, the country and western music star well known for his yodeling, died on Wednesday morning at the age of 90.

The legendary singer-songwriter was popular in his native U.S., but Whitman was a huge success in Europe, especially the U.K. Whitman's son-in-law revealed that he had died due to heart problems in Florida.

"He dies last night at the Orange Park hospital at about 12:45 this morning of heart failure," Roy Beagle told Reuters. "We had a 90th birthday party for him in January and he looked good, but he had been in failing health since then."

Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr. was born in Tampa, Florida on Jan. 20, 1924 and became known professionally as "Slim" after teaching himself guitar and eventually performing with the Variety Rhythm Boys.

Among his many songs were covers of pop standards, movie songs, love songs, folk tunes and gospel melodic hymns. Whitman was also recognized for his signature yodel in songs.

In 1955, Whitman's hit single "Rose Marie" held the Guinness World Record for the longest time at No. 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart until it was broken 36 years later.

Other hit songs of Whitman's included "Love Song of the Waterfall," "Indian Love Call," "Secret Love" and "I Remember You."

Among Whitman's many fans was the late Michael Jackson who the singer as one of his favorite artists.

Whitman was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Walkway of Stars in 1968 and received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star for his contribution to the music industry.

Twitter was abuzz with tributes to the singer Wednesday.

Kelton posted, "Slim Whitman would be trending now that he's gone but I like to send out my condolences to his family, and he will be missed."

"Oh my I just heard that the great Slim Whitman died this morning," started Bill. "All the great country singers are leaving us! #country #western #music"

Whitman's death occurred just weeks after the country music industry suffered the loss of country music star George Jones.

Watch a video of Whitman performing "Rose Marie" on YouTube here.

 

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