R.I.P Slim Whitman
Country singer Slim Whitman dies at age 90..
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.
His career spanned six decades, beginning in the late 1940s, but he achieved cult figure status in the 1980s. His visage as an ordinary guy singing romantic ballads struck a responsive chord with the public.
"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,'" Whitman told The Associated Press in 1991. "They hadn't seen that."
For most of the 1980s, he was consistent fodder for Johnny Carson's monologues on late-night NBC-TV, and the butt of Slim Whitman look-alike contests.
"That TV ad is the reason I'm still here," he said. "It buys fuel for the boat."
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