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Mr. Songman
The Slim Whitman Story
By Kenneth L. Gibble
The Brethren Press
158 Pages
ISBN:  0-87178-587-0

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The Slim Whitman story is one of the most amazing stories in entertainment history. His style of singing matches that of his life—simple, clean, mellow. His performance and standards have remained remarkably consistent throughout his career of more than 30 years. For the most part, he takes songs that have been long established as favorites and adapts them to his unique ability to sustain a high tenor vibrato sound. The result is a phenomenon known around the world as Whitmania.

Whitmania had a small but solid beginning in the late forties and early fifties when Slim landed singing jobs on the radio and the Louisiana Hayride and had a couple of his recordings make the top ten pop music chart. Then in the mid-fifties his song "Rose Marie" took England by a storm, setting the record in that country for the single with the longest tenure at the top of the best-seller charts. While his popularity waned in the US, it soared to remarkable proportions abroad.

Now Whitmania is enjoying a phenomenal resurgence in America. And for the first time the full Slim Whitman story has been written. Mr. Songman gives the never before revealed facts of Slim's childhood and early adult years. It tells of his marriage to Geraldine "Jerry" Christ and the close family relationships they have enjoyed over a period of forty years. It details Slim's early struggles to be an entertainer and the singer's feelings and involvements on the road to stardom. There are entertaining anecdotes from his association with other well-known performers including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Faron Young and David Houston.

Slim Whitman's fans and critics alike will find Mr. Songman helpful insight into the man and his mystique. They will also discover a rarity—an entertainer who has not been spoiled by the glamour of the footlights!

  • Kenneth L. Gibble is a communications specialist and free lance writer in Harrisburg, Pa. An ordained minister, he is associate pastor of Ridgeway Community Church of the Brethren. He has two previous books, Yeast, Salt and Secret Agents and Becoming God's People, has published articles in more than forty different periodicals and has written several nationally-aired radio spots. He is married to Ann Earhart Gibble and has one daughter, Kane.


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