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Saturday February 24, 2024

Roger Whittaker, Durham Town folk singer and expert whistler, dead at 87

Roger Whittaker was famously known for his 1969 hit song Durham Town

By Web Desk
September 19, 2023
Roger Whittaker, Durham Town folk singer and expert whistler, dead at 87
Roger Whittaker, Durham Town folk singer and expert whistler, dead at 87

Roger Whittaker, Durham Town folk singer, who was also widely known for his expert whistling, has died at the age of 87.

His other singles were The Last Farewell and New World in the Morning, and according to his website, he sold close to 50 million records worldwide.

He began performing in folk clubs before finding fame in 1986 with a duet with Des O'Connor called the Skye Boat Song.

He could sing in a variety of languages. He was able to appeal to a large audience because to their inclusion of German and French, notably in Germany where he was quite well-liked.

His parents, who were English citizens from Staffordshire, were born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1936.

Whittaker went to medical school after serving in the military in Kenya.

He performed in local clubs and wrote his own songs while pursuing his degree.

However, he dropped out of his medical program after 18 months and switched to teaching. In order to earn his teaching certification, he moved to the University of Bangor in Wales in 1959.

He wrote some songs when he was there for university Rag Week, and he also sent a sample recording to a music publisher.

"Before he knew it, Roger was back in the studio recording his first single, The Charge of the Light Brigade," his biography stated.

While he was still a student, his subsequent album, Steel Men, received airplay, which propelled his career forward and led to TV work.

In 2012, he and his wife Natalie retired to France.