Thursday, June 20, 2013

A North Florida Icon transitions...

Slim Whitman, a local resident (Middleburg) and well known yodeler has passed on to the Summer-fields, yesterday.

In the London Daily Mail, he was quoted as saying his singing career which was well chronicled in late night commercials, ..."Helped pay for the fuel in his boat".

Yeah... It might. Good for him!

I always thought of Slim as a pretty cool singer who was not in any regular rotation on Country-Western radio, who had built quite the career in the 50's and repackaged it in the 70's and 80's on late night tv. In the past ten years, I have noticed his large Huckins cruiser, aptly named "Slim", on the river and near downtown Jacksonville. During the 2005 Superbowl, we were waiting for a bridge opening next to "Slim". I called on the VHF and asked the skipper if he (Slim) was onboard, and received an affirmative. We made sure to wave vigorously at Slim and his party, with great smiles to greet them. They seemed nice and waved back, acknowledging their public.

Slim Whitman is/was regarded well in the Jacksonville area, where we seem to have more than our share of locally based musical talent. Billy Powell's house is about three hundred steps from my home. (He passed away in Orange Park but his Confederate Point house is still in his name)  I think the musical talent of NE Florida residents must come from the water here, or at least be inspired by life in some of the great neighborhoods here in Duval County. Whatever, it's all nice here.

Slim Whitman made it to 90 years, which sounds like a good run especially if you happen to be a sort of celebrity. Celebrities seem to habitually drop into an early grave, don't they?

Go out and play, all of you...!