Wednesday, June 19, 2013
– Slim Whitman, best known for his 1952 hit Indian Love Call,
died Wednesday in Jacksonville, Fla. at 89 from heart failure.
The song reached number 2 on the country charts and was a top 10 pop hit.
Whitman, who grew up in Tampa, also had a big hit with Rose Marie, which was number 1 for 11 weeks in England and was a top 5 country hit in the U.S. in 1954. He enjoyed 8 top 10 hits for Imperial between 1952 and 1954.
Whitman joined the Grand Ole Opry the following year.
Whitman's final top 10 singles were Guess Who and Something Beautiful (To Remember) in 1971.
Born Otis Dewey Whitman, Jr., after being discharged from the Navy, he began playing clubs in the Tampa area and attracted attention from Colonel Tom Parker, who helped him get a record contract with RCA Records.
Whitman's career enjoyed a resurgence after his first top 10 country single Love Song of the Waterfall was in the film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."
Whitman continued touring steadily into the 1990s with a strong overseas following.