Earlier this year, in a post titled Slim Whitman Is Amazing, I spotlighted the long and varied career of the iconic country music star. It has now been reported that he has died at age 90 in Florida, apparently of natural causes.
I’ve reactivated the song link on that earlier post, and have also replaced the video, which had been deactivated at its source. (There are also a couple of good video songs in the comments section below the post).
And finally, I’ve also included a new song link and another video below.
RIP Ottis Dewey ‘Slim’ Whitman, Jr.
Slim Whitman – “Twilight On The Trail” (You can also access music in left column.)
One-time teen idol Bobby Sherman has led an interesting life. During the 1960s and 1970s he starred on TV and also had a number of million-selling records, all adding to his status as a heartthrob for a lot of young fans. And even when things started slowing down musically he still managed to find regular TV work well into the 1980s. But it might surprise you to learn that he eventually took a detour into law enforcement and then wrote a book — and he didn’t leave show business forever, because he later found time to do a few ‘oldies’ shows.
Robert Cabot Sherman Jr. was born and raised in Southern California, and by the time he was in high school he knew he wanted to be a performer. By then he was a talented singer and musician (he would eventually learn to play 16 different instruments), and he was still a teenager when he began to gain some career traction.
It began around 1962 when actor Sal Mineo — a well-known performer at that time — saw the potential in the young singer and helped him get an agent and then a record contract. Although his early records only sold moderately well, Sherman kept working hard and within a couple of years had made a break-out appearance on TV’s Shindig. He also began to make occasional acting guest spots on TV, and by 1968 was well-positioned to land a co-starring role in a new show, Here Come The Brides.
The musical side of his career soon became an even bigger story. It probably helped that fans could hear him weekly singing “Seattle,” the theme song to his show (although I like Perry Como’s version better) but in any case it was the beginning of several years of solid record sales. Among his many million-sellers were songs like “Little Woman,” “Easy Come, Easy Go,” and “Julie, Do Ya Love Me.” The hits slowed down in the 1970s, but Sherman continued to find work in TV, both as an actor and behind the scenes. In the late 1980s he began to work with the Los Angeles Police Department as a training officer specializing in CPR and life saving techniques, eventually rising to the rank of captain. In recent years he has written a book and has also been known to show up in the occasional ‘oldies’ show.
Bobby Sherman – “Easy Come, Easy Go” (You can also access music in left column.)
Even though it’s generally considered to be a Jimmie Rodgers Depression-era song, you would probably have to visit a vaudeville house even earlier than that to find the true roots of “In The Jailhouse Now.” The first written trace is a 1915 copyright for the team of Davis and Stafford, but it was often performed in stage shows in those days, albeit under a couple of different titles and with varying lyrics. But one thing was a constant — it’s always been the story of a rascal, usually a guy named Ramblin’ Bob.
Early performers like Bessie Smith sang an almost identical song titled “Jail House Blues,” but it was the legendary troubadour Rodgers’ 1928 record that made the biggest impression with the public. He later recorded a very similar-sounding version but with differing lyrics — including changing Bob to a guy named Campbell — but his first try became the standard.
Like a lot of early folk-blues songs, it became more closely identified with country music through the years, and has been performed by a countless number of artists, including everybody from Johnny Cash to Merle Haggard. The song was given new life in 2000 by being featured in the film, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, with a very good lead vocal by actor Tim Blake Nelson. (Reprised in the video below.)
Jimmie Rodgers – “In the Jailhouse Now” (You can also access music in left column.)