- 19 Sep 23
British folk singer-songwriter Roger Whittaker has reportedly passed away at the age of 87.
Some of his greatest hits include ‘Durham Town’, ‘The Last Farewell’, and ‘New World in the Morning’.
He began writing songs and singing in Welsh folk clubs while studying at the University of Bangor.
His first big breakthrough came in 1962, when he appeared on the Northern Irish T.V show This and That.
Whittaker was regarded as an extremely talented whistler and his composition ‘Mexican Whistler’ reached no1. In three separate European countries.
It wouldn’t be until the release of ‘Durham Town’ that Whittaker would enjoy a Top 20 hit in the U.K. “I just didn’t have any faith in that song at all,” he reportedly said (according to his website). “Far from promoting the single in Britain, I went off to Finland for a cabaret season and television appearances.”
Upon his return to Britain, his song was rapidly climbing the charts.
Born in Kenya to English parents in 1936, the sounds of east Africa are said to have left a mark on him during his childhood.
“In over 30 years of singing and playing musical sounds, the wonderful drumming, and those marvellous, infectious rhythms, have played a great part in everything I have ever written and sung,” he said.
Whittaker retired in 2012 and is survived by his wife, Natalie, whom he married almost 60 years ago, and their five children.
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 27 Sep 23