Slim Whitman (1924-2013) is kind of an acquired taste... As a hard-country fan, I find his stuff generally too genteel and mannered, but he was a stalwart figure in the genre since the late 1940s, and recorded several classics, including pop crossovers like "Rose Marie," inspiring legions of devoted fans. Whitman had an interesting second act in the 1980s when he launched a direct-marketing campaign to sell his greatest hits collections via TV commercials -- it was an enormously successful effort, but also made him the subject of joking pop-culture references similar to fellow TV-icon Boxcar Willie. Anyway, here's a quick look at Whitman's work...

Discography - Best-Ofs

Slim Whitman "Vintage Collections" (Capitol Vintage, 1996)
He hit it big in the early 1950s with a few choice songs, but even bigger in the early '80s when his TV-only best-of album sold over a million copies (!) and made Whitman's a household name again... Hard country fans can be forgiven for looking askance at Whitman's accomplishments and his ouvre: his thin, emotionally flat, milquetoast yodel can almost be seen as a parody of country music, and likewise his steel guitar player's simplistic lines sound more like someone playing a lumber saw than a proper steel player. But hey, it's hard to argue with success -- Whitman was one of country music's stalwart players throughout the 'Fifties, and despite the stylistic drabness and mainstream pop inclinations, these clunky old recordings may grow on you after a while. This is a first-rate collection of all his best material, including "Song Of The Waterfall," "Indian Love Call," "Secret Love" and other early classics. If you want to check Whitman out, this disc ought to just about cover it.

Slim Whitman "Rose Marie" (Bear Family, 1996)
A ginormous 6-CD box set with all of Slim Whitman's studio recordings from 1949-59, spanning his early work for RCA and Imperial Records... This has all his seminal hits ("Indian Love Call," "Rose Marie," et. al.) and then some. There are certainly many much more compact best-of collections that have a lot of the same stuff, but for the super-hardcore Slim Whitman faithful, this collection is a real goldmine.

Slim Whitman "I'm A Lonely Wanderer" (Bear Family, 2002)
A second 6-CD set that picks up where the first one left off, and gathers the bulk of Whitman's remaining work. Again, for hardcore fans only, but if that's you, then this is your Holy Grail. And of course, both of these LP-sized box sets have Bear Family's usual high standards of sound quality an packaging, including large booklets with comprehensive info on the recordings and cool archival photos... They're always a class act.

Slim Whitman "The Man With The Singing Guitar, Volume One" (Jasmine, 2005)

Slim Whitman "The Man With The Singing Guitar, Volume Two" (Jasmine, 2005)

Slim Whitman "The Man With The Singing Guitar, Volume Three" (Jasmine, 2007)

Discography - Albums

Slim Whitman "America's Favorite Folk Artist" (Imperial, 1954)

Slim Whitman "Favorites" (Imperial, 1954)

Slim Whitman "Slim Whitman Sings" (Imperial, 1957)

Slim Whitman "My Best To You" (Imperial, 1959)

Slim Whitman "Country Favorites" (Imperial, 1959)

Slim Whitman "I'll Walk With God" (Imperial, 1960) (LP)

Slim Whitman "Songs Of The Old Waterwheel" (Imperial, 1960)

Slim Whitman "I'll Never Stop Loving You" (Imperial, 1961)

Slim Whitman "Just Call Me Lonesome" (Imperial, 1961)

Slim Whitman "Cool Water" (Imperial, 1961)

Slim Whitman "...Sings Annie Laurie" (Imperial, 1961)

Slim Whitman "Forever" (Imperial, 1962)

Slim Whitman "Sings" (Imperial, 1962)

Slim Whitman "Heart Songs/Love Song" (Imperial, 1962)

Slim Whitman "I'm A Lonely Wanderer" (Imperial, 1962)

Slim Whitman "Yodeling" (Imperial, 1963)

Slim Whitman "Country Songs/City Hits" (Imperial, 1963)

Slim Whitman "Irish Songs The Slim Whitman Way" (Imperial, 1963)

Slim Whitman "All Time Favorites" (Imperial, 1964)

Slim Whitman "Love Song Of The Waterfall" (Imperial, 1965)

Slim Whitman "Reminiscing" (Imperial, 1965)

Slim Whitman "More Than Yesterday: More Country Songs And City Hits" (Imperial, 1966) (LP)

Slim Whitman "God's Hand In Mine" (Imperial, 1966) (LP)

Slim Whitman "A Travelin' Man" (Imperial, 1966)

Slim Whitman "A Time For Love" (Imperial, 1966)

Slim Whitman "15th Anniversary Album" (Imperial, 1967)

Slim Whitman "Country Memories" (Imperial, 1967)

Slim Whitman "In Love The Whitman Way" (Imperial, 1968)

Slim Whitman "Happy Street" (Imperial, 1968)

Slim Whitman "Slim" (Imperial, 1969)

Slim Whitman "The Slim Whitman Christmas Album" (Imperial, 1969)

Slim Whitman "Straight From The Heart" (Imperial, 1969)

Slim Whitman "Tomorrow Never Comes" (United Artists, 1970)

Slim Whitman "Guess Who" (United Artists, 1971)

Slim Whitman "It's A Sin To Tell A Lie" (United Artists, 1971)

Slim Whitman "The Best Of Slim Whitman" (United Artists, 1972)

Slim Whitman "I'll See You When" (United Artists, 1973)

Slim Whitman "25th Anniversary Concert" (United Artists, 1973)

Slim Whitman "Happy Anniversary" (United Artists, 1974)

Slim Whitman "Everything Leads Back To You" (United Artists, 1976)

Slim Whitman "Red River Valley" (United Artists, 1977)

Slim Whitman "Home On The Range" (United Artists, 1977)

Slim Whitman "Songs I Love To Sing" (Epic, 1980) (LP)

Slim Whitman "Christmas With Slim Whitman" (Epic, 1980)

Slim Whitman "Mr. Songman" (Epic, 1981) (LP)

Slim Whitman "I'll Be Home for Christmas" (Epic, 1981)

Slim Whitman "Angeline" (Epic, 1984) (LP)

Slim Whitman "Magic Moments" (1988)

Slim Whitman "Best Loved Favorites" (Ranwood, 1989)

Slim Whitman "20 Precious Memories" (1991)

Slim Whitman "Traditional Country" (1998)

Slim Whitman "Twilight On The Trail" (Rangeland, 2010)


Hick Music Index

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