Renowned folk singer and expert whistler, Roger Whittaker, has passed away at the age of 87. With hits such as “Durham Town,” “The Last Farewell,” and “New World in the Morning,” Whittaker sold nearly 50 million records worldwide. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1936, Whittaker’s parents hailed from Staffordshire, England.
Whittaker’s musical journey began in folk clubs, but it was his duet with Des O’Connor on the Skye Boat Song in 1986 that catapulted him to success. One of Whittaker’s remarkable abilities was his proficiency in singing in various languages, including German and French. This skill enabled him to connect with a diverse audience, particularly in Germany, where he enjoyed great popularity.
After starting his university studies in medicine following national service in Kenya, Whittaker found himself drawn to music. He sang in local clubs and composed his own songs, eventually leaving his medical course after 18 months to pursue a career in teaching. In 1959, Whittaker moved to the University of Bangor in Wales to obtain a teaching qualification. During his time there, he wrote songs for university Rag Week and sent a demo track to a music publisher. This act marked the beginning of his professional music career.
Whittaker’s first single, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” was followed by another successful release, “Steel Men,” which received airplay while he was still a student. From there, his career continued to flourish, leading to opportunities in television. After retiring in 2012, Whittaker and his wife, Natalie, settled in France.
Roger Whittaker leaves behind a rich musical legacy, having captivated audiences around the world with his folk melodies and unique whistling talent. His contributions to the music industry will be cherished and remembered.
– “Folk singer and whistler Roger Whittaker dies aged 87.” BBC News.
– Whittaker, Roger. Official Website.