Illustration for article titled Slim Whitman, Singer of Eerie Cowboy Ballads, Dead At 90

The 90-year-old western singer Slim Whitman has died in Florida. For six decades, the singer performed and recorded his peculiar style of echo-laden yodels and ballads. He appeared with Andy Kaufman and his otherworldly music was featured in two iconic alien-invasion movies: Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Mars Attacks!

Here's Slim on the Midnight Special with Andy Kaufman, during the era when commercials for Whitman's greatest hits were a constant presence on late-night television.

He had a voice that could please the elderly and destroy dangerous Martians.


Whitman was always better known in the U.K. than in the United States—both George Harrison and Paul McCartney named Slim Whitman as a childhood influence—but these commercials helped him sell more than a million records at home.

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