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Now and Then: 1964 - 2004

Roger Whittaker

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Album Review

Roger Whittaker's overall career is under-represented by a casual glance at his list of hit singles — only seven in total, all of which were included on the Now and Then: Greatest Hits 1964-2004 compilation (although his hits actually came to an end in 1986, and his only forays into the album charts have been with similar compilations since then). However, Whittaker's hits do stand out, and one was always under the impression that he achieved more — but seven hits it was, and only three of those reached the Top Ten. He became famous for telling stories and painting portraits with his music, and there was no better example than his biggest success, "The Last Farewell." Also included was his first European success, "Mexican Whistler," which first alerted the public to his skills at whistling as well as singing, a skill used to great effect on his final hit, "The Skye Boat Song," a duet with Des O'Connor from Christmas 1986. For all the good work he put into his own songs, the album also contains some cover versions that he probably shouldn't have attempted, the worst being "If I Were a Rich Man" from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, cut down to less than three minutes. There have been many compilations of his work up to this point, and Now and Then can be added to the list.

Biography

Born: 22 March 1936 in Nairobi, Kenya

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

With his avuncular appearance and rich baritone, African-born British pop singer Roger Whittaker seemed like a late successor to Bing Crosby when he emerged into worldwide popularity in the '70s. Although his initial hits were self-written, he quickly turned largely to interpretive singing as he recorded prolifically. With the front line of the popular music business dominated by young performers playing pop/rock, he and his music soon encountered resistance from radio and the music press. Also,...
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Now and Then: 1964 - 2004, Roger Whittaker
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