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Essential Country - Slim Whitman

Slim Whitman

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Album Review

Nothing about Slim Whitman's recordings appear particularly singular or innovative at first glance, and his output of mellow, romantic songs seems to be straight old traditional country, with unassuming vocals and standard instrumentation. But a closer look at his peak period in the mid-'50s when he was with Lew Chudd's Los Angeles-based Imperial Records reveals a crafty artist who managed several pop crossover hits by dosing his country roots with some seriously atmospheric arrangements that managed somehow to sound both traditional and oddly spacy at the same time. Blessed with a distinctive high baritone voice, Whitman was also an excellent yodeler (it's no accident that Tim Burton chose Whitman's version of "Indian Love Call" to be Earth's only antidote to the alien invaders in his science fiction movie spoof Mars Attacks!) and he was also an astute businessman. Whitman was one of the first recording stars to use television to market his music, and while he might have appeared clueless on those late-night commercials for his albums, he certainly wasn't clueless when he deposited the checks that came rolling in as a result. This extremely generous three-disc collection collects material Whitman recorded between 1952 and 1981, including his unofficial theme song, "I'm Casting My Lasso Towards the Sky," the big Imperial hits "Indian Love Call," and his cover of "Rose Marie," the theme song from the 1936 movie of the same name which coincidentally featured Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald's version of "Indian Love Call," a song that had originally been done by Paul Whiteman way back in 1925. There's an awful lot of Slim Whitman here (some 85 tracks' worth), and it's probably more than most listeners would ever need, but if you like the guy, then this set is pretty much a goldmine.

Biography

Born: 20 January 1924 in Tampa, FL

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '00s, '10s

Though he was once known as "America's Favorite Folksinger," Slim Whitman was, for the majority of his career, more famous in Europe than in the United States. Best remembered for his early-'50s hit singles like "Love Song of the Waterfall," "Indian Love Call," and "Singing Hills,"...
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Essential Country - Slim Whitman, Slim Whitman
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