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Slim Whitman, the country crooner and yodeler who influenced members of the Beatles and whose voice helped repel an alien invasion in director Tim Burton?s 1996 sci-fi parody ?Mars Attacks!,? died Wednesday at a hospital in Orange Park, Florida. He was 90.

The cause was heart and kidney ailments, said a son-in-law, Roy Beagle.

To his fans, Mr. Whitman?s music was wholesome and sentimental. To others, it was just plain cornball. Either way, he sold more than 70 million recordings.

His hits included ?Indian Love Call? (1952), which reached the Billboard Pop Top 10, ?Danny Boy? (1953), ?Secret Love? (1953) and ?Rose Marie? (1954). Each was replete with yodeling, leading one former colleague to describe him as ?an Irish tenor singing Sigmund Romberg.?

 

Mr. Whitman?s popularity in the United States waned in the 1960s, but he remained a consistent draw in England and Australia for decades. His remake of ?Rose Marie? reached No. 1 on the U.K. pop charts in 1970.

 

Future Beatle George Harrison recalled his father, a merchant seaman, bringing Mr. Whitman?s records home. Mr. Whitman, who strummed the guitar with his left hand, also bolstered fellow lefty Paul McCart?ney?s resolve to play in the way that came naturally.

 

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. Whitman blanketed the United States with late-night television ads hawking his greatest-hits collection, ?All My Best.? These ads were instrumental in revitalizing his career among American record buyers and culminated in the use of ?Indian Love Call? in the climax of Burton?s ?Mars Attacks!?

 

In the movie, the invading Martians are repulsed ? in many ways ? when an elderly woman plays the record. The aliens? innards explode when they hear Mr. Whitman yodel.

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In the movie, the invading Martians are repulsed ? in many ways ? when an elderly woman plays the record. The aliens? innards explode when they hear Mr. Whitman yodel.

 

I can well understand that. 

 

RIP.

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Quite the stash that guy had.

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