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Country star Slim Whitman dies, 90.

COUNTRY singer Slim Whitman, the high-pitched yodeller who sold millions of records through TV ads in the 1980s and 1990s and whose song saved the world in the film comedy Mars Attacks!, has died in Florida aged 90.

Whitman's tenor falsetto and ebony moustache and sideburns became global trademarks - and an inspiration for countless jokes - thanks to TV commercials that pitched his records.

But he was a serious musical influence on early rock, and in Britain, he was known as a pioneer of country music for popularising the style. Whitman also encouraged a teenage 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 moustache and a receding hairline, playing a guitar and singing Rose Marie," Whitman said in 1991. "They hadn't seen that."

He yodelled throughout his career and had a three-octave singing range.

Whitman said yodelling required rehearsal.

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Slim Whitman: his song saved the world in Mars Attacks!
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jun 20, 2013
Words:235
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