It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this
Also listening to:

Roger Whittaker

With his avuncular appearance and rich baritone, African-born British pop singer Roger Whittaker seemed like a late successor to Bing Crosby when he emerged into worldwide popularity in the '70s. Although his initial hits were self-written, he quickly turned largely to interpretive singing as he recorded prolifically. With the front line of the popular music business dominated by young performers playing pop/rock, he and his music soon encountered resistance from radio and the music press. Also, the U.S. was one of the last regions of the world to acknowledge him, and he never focused primarily on America, resulting in an underestimation of his stardom stateside, where he was thought of as a one-hit wonder for "The Last Farewell." But he maintained a large following in Europe and the Far East where he performed frequently, resulting in sales that were estimated at 40 million albums worldwide by the early '90s.

The son of immigrants from Staffordshire, England, Whittaker was born in Nairobi, Kenya, on March 22, 1936. His father, Edward Whittaker, owned a grocery store, for which his mother, Viola Whittaker, kept the books; she later worked as a teacher. He took up the guitar at the age of seven and learned to sing songs in Swahili, but did not think of music as a career until much later. In 1956, he entered the University of Cape Town, South Africa as a medical student, but flunked out in his second year and returned to Nairobi, where he taught primary school and performed in nightclubs. In September 1959, he moved to the U.K. and began attending Bangor University in Wales, where he studied science with the intention of furthering his teaching career. But he continued to sing in clubs, and in the early '60s, a few of his recordings were issued on flexi-discs included with a campus publication, the Bangor University Rag, and credited to Hank & the Mellomen, to raise money for charity. This brought him to the attention of Fontana Records, which signed him to a contract and released his first professional single, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," credited to Rog Whittaker, in 1962. His second single was a cover of American country singer Jimmy Dean's "Steel Men." It gave him his first chart entry near the bottom of the New Musical Express Top 30 in June 1962, just as he was passing his final exams. So, instead of going on for his PhD, he acquired a manager and turned to singing full-time, soon gaining a residency on This and That, a television show in Ulster, Northern Ireland. The next few years he struggled to make a living on the British cabaret circuit, but in the spring of 1967 he won a prize at the Knokke Song Festival in Belgium, leading to recordings of his composition "The Mexican Whistler" and his version of "If I Were a Rich Man" from the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Both became hits in Europe, breaking him as a headlining concert attraction on the continent.

By 1968, Whittaker had switched record labels to EMI, which released his discs on its Columbia imprint (no relation to the American Columbia Records). In the fall of 1969, he scored his first Top 20 hit in Britain with the self-written "Durham Town (The Leavin')." He was signed to RCA Victor Records for the U.S., and in the spring of 1970 another of his compositions, the sunny, uptempo "New World in the Morning," became a Top 20 hit on the American Easy Listening chart. At the same time, his British single was the melodramatic, anti-war original "I Don't Believe in 'If' Anymore," which reached the pop Top Ten. In the U.S., "I Don't Believe in 'If' Anymore" followed "New World in the Morning" and became a Top 30 Easy Listening hit that summer; in the U.K., "New World in the Morning" followed "I Don't Believe in 'If' Anymore" and became a Top 20 pop hit that fall. In the U.S., RCA released Whittaker's first American album, New World in the Morning, while in the U.K., an album titled I Don't Believe in "If" Anymore gave him his first chart LP as he accepted offers to host a children's television show and a radio series. ("New World in the Morning" went on to become one of his more valuable copyrights as a songwriter, earning covers by Eddy Arnold and Al Martino, among others.)

Whittaker continued his success on both sides of the Atlantic and, indeed, around the world, in 1971. The philosophical "Why?," for which he had composed the music to a lyric submitted by amateur writer Joan Stanton as part of a contest on his radio show, reached the American Easy Listening chart and the British pop chart, and it won the U.K.'s coveted Ivor Novello songwriting award for 1971-1972. Whittaker also returned to Britain LP chart with his New World in the Morning album and made the U.K. Top 40 with "Mammy Blue." He also released the album A Special Kind of Man, which included "The Last Farewell," a romantic ballad of war and separation he had composed and set to lyrics sent in by another amateur writer, Ron Webster, as part of the same radio competition that produced "Why?"

Whittaker had another British television series in 1972, this time one for grown-ups, and he continued to record and perform around the world over the next few years, though without coming up with another hit. Then in the winter of 1975 "The Last Farewell" belatedly began to attract attention in the U.S. after the wife of an Atlanta radio programmer heard it on vacation in Canada and induced her husband to put it on the air. The four-year-old track was released as a single that topped the easy listening chart and made the Top 20 of the pop chart, before going on to become an international hit with reported sales of 11 million copies. It peaked at number two in the U.K. during the summer and won Whittaker a second Ivor Novello Award. (It also attracted numerous cover versions, including one by Elvis Presley on his 1976 LP From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee.) Meanwhile, RCA (which had previously dropped Whittaker and then hastily re-signed him) released the compilation album The Last Farewell and Other Hits in the U.S., and the LP reached the Top 40 of the pop charts and the Top Ten of the country charts on its way to gold-record certification. In Britain, the compilation The Very Best of Roger Whittaker reached the Top Ten.

As he turned 40 in 1976, Whittaker undertook his first U.S. tour. "Durham Town (The Leavin')" belatedly made the easy listening chart, followed in mid-year by the Top 20 "The First Hello, The Last Goodbye," co-written by the singer. In the U.K., his chart LP for the year was The Second Album of the Very Best of Roger Whittaker. He returned to the American easy listening chart in February 1977 with "Before She Breaks My Heart," and while RCA's release of The Best of Roger Whittaker in March never made the charts, it sold well enough over the next several years to be certified gold in 1980. Meanwhile, he hosted another TV series, Whittaker's World of Music, in Britain in 1977.

From the late '70s into the early '80s, Whittaker continued to score minor chart entries in the U.S. and the U.K. while touring around the world. In America, his Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary chart entries were "If I Knew Just What to Say" (1978) and the self-penned "You Are My Miracle" (1979), while his albums When I Need You (1979), Mirrors of My Mind (1979), Voyager (1980), Roger Whittaker with Love (1980), and Live in Concert (1981) made the bottom half of the Top 200. In the U.K., the chart hits were all compilation albums: Roger Whittaker Sings the Hits (1978), 20 All Time Greats (1979), and The Roger Whittaker Album (1981). He also addressed his non-English-speaking audience by singing phonetically in other languages, releasing Mein Deutsches Album in West Germany in 1979, for example. In 1982, he scored a number one hit in West Germany with "Albany," and the same year he returned to Kenya for the first time in two decades, commemorating the occasion with the 1984 album and documentary In Kenya: A Musical Safari.

He had toured the U.S. in 1980, but he didn't return until 1983. In the late '70s, he had launched his own Tembo Records company (tembo is the word for elephant in Swahili). Tembo licensed his recordings to Main Street Records in the U.S., and the label made a push to establish him as a country singer, getting "I Love You Because" into the lower reaches of the country chart in late 1983 and achieving a six-month country chart run for All Time Heart Touching Favorites in 1984. But by 1985, he was back to releasing his records through RCA in the U.S. In the fall of 1986, he returned to the British Top Ten with "The Skye Boat Song," in a duet with comedian Des O'Conner, and he continued to chart LPs in the U.K. occasionally over the next decade: Skye Boat Song and Other Great Songs (1986), His Finest Collection (1987), Home Lovin' Man (1989), and A Perfect Day -- His Greatest Hits & More (1996). Often, his albums repackaged older recordings with perhaps one or two new tracks. Thus, if he did make a new album, it was an event. When Awakening appeared on RCA in the U.S. in 1999, a sticker affixed to the front cover proclaimed: "The first totally original Whittaker album in over seven years. Contains all new material!"

After completing a tour of Germany (by then his strongest market) in 2001, a 65-year-old Whittaker announced his retirement from performing and settled down with his wife of 37 years in Ireland. Like many musical performers, however, he was unable to hold to this declaration and was back on tour in Germany in 2003, with plans for more recordings and concerts planned years ahead. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I have loved Roger's music from the first time I heard it many years ago. His voice is mellow and comforting to listen to.
I'm looking for the song When I Need You. Any suggestions?
caroleilno1
When my only child, a son, was born the tape i chose to listen to in the labor room was Roger's. I was 42 years old and scared. His voice got me through it as it soothed and distracted me. I still love and listen to that tape and several cds I've acquired since. By the way, i turned a young 70 yesterday!

E
he is with me while cooking, sewing gardening... y e a r s from now when i can longer do these things i love, i will still be listening to him with deep nostalgia
jgp4346
How about adding his German language albums!
After 2 years you still haven't added to Roger Whittaker. I think I have more of his music than you do ! I have 7 albums in my collection listing 69 songs
allisonc965
I always knew about his signature song,The Last Farewell) but Ijust recently found his other music, having seen an older video on YouTube. I was awestruck and in love - instantly. His voice is like no other, and to me, there is any one better. His voice puts me in a place I could stay in forever. It has helped me through hard times recently as I just lost my husband. The younger Roger reminds me of what my husband must have looked like when he was that age. Thank you, Roger Whittaker.
garrickconne c t i o n
Roger whittager had to exist to fulfill all the great music of yesterday
Without him there would be something missing! Gary Williams
I went to his performance to hear Roger sing in Duluth Minnesota in the early 90's. Two things made that occasion very good. First, as he performed he would chat between songs about details of his life in earlier days. Second, after the show he came back out to chat with a small group who had waited to have the commemorativ e book signed.
More than twenty years later in Fulda, Germany, I watched Roger perform again. He sang most of his German hits and several in English too.
I bought the the current coommemorati v e book but it remained unsigned. My thoughts; In Duluth I went to hear music but met the man as well to my great pleasure. In Fulda I went to meet the man but only heard the music. My expectations were perhaps unreasonable but I could not help feeling disappointed . I admire the man and his music. I always shall admire such a unique entertainer.
edwardwillia m 3 8
i wish i could had seen him in person, but that didn't happen so I just enjoy his music.
Pure Artist!!!
caren_philli p s
Love, love, LOVE his voice!
sgobbs43
I've been a fan for over 40 years, got to see him live in Canada about 23 years ago- glad he's still touring, sad that it's in Germany- maybe I'll get lucky and will see him again in concert
My wife threatened to divorce me if I took her to another Roger Whittaker concert! Heard him sing several times in the Buffalo, NY area and at Chautauqua Institute. A warm, resonant voice and a great stage prescence! Keep on singing, Roger!!!!
scottlooper
One of the most amazing voices of all time.
delcyserna18
I'm so happy i finally found him! yes he is the best! he brings back alot of found memories.
delcyserna18
I'm so happy i finally found him! yes he is the best! he brings back alot of found memories.
It is the essence of harmony. He should be more popular. :)
delcyserna18
I'm so happy i finally found him! yes he is the best! he brings back alot of found memories.
kakeith2
So many family memories listening to the great voice and melodies of Roger Whttaker! He is a legend!
melissa_ply
Great voice and family memories flood back listening to Roger-so happy her is alive and well!
c.g.fowler
Love, Love, Love the music.
rufamily
Just play MORE of his music. I have him listed/ selected and in 30 min you played 1 repeate 1 song. Don't you have more of him ????
The absolute best.
a beautiful song, no matter who sings it!!!!!
I think he has a beautiful voice,I have always enjoyed his music.
ashpop
I just love this artist. I could listen to him all day
Saw him in Baltimore and enjoyed him so much
bobkriss36
sweet tones
Love his singing this is my style of music. Very calming and soothing!
Roger is so clearly just one of the best. Saw him on Maui awhile back and he was great.
erikawitt
I received as a gift the German tape Roger Whittaker Zum Weinen ist immer noch Zeit. His lyrics and his beat are appealing to me and I would love to find a way to getting the written lyrics, so I can sing along in German. I bought a later release R.W. 50 years of Classic Hit - doesn't grab me the same as the German recordings. Where can I get the words. Thanks so much~ erikawitt@ms n . c o m - Enjoying your service so much, thanks
conley5622
My wife and I attended a concert in Great Falls, Montana. I gave him a
Montana pin with a Montana Sapphire in it ..He told me he would wear it.
We enjoyed his concert very much.
I've attended two of his live concerts and he is amazingly versatile. One time his theme was country music; another time he focused on African melodies. Both times he also performed his old standards.
Could easily wear out cassette tapes driving an hour to work in the 80's. Fond concert memories of a talented singer/write r . Good music is better than comfort food. Hope to see him on the European tour in the future.
Let's face it: this is feel good music!
very nice Interesting he was born in Kenya but sings Irish songs White Micky songs
Have been a fan for ever and hope to have his music played at my funeral. Since I'm only 5 yrs. younger, I hope we have continued long lives. He can mellow me right out when ever I need it. Love the man and his music!
I saw Roger in concert in 1981 in Atlanta, GA. What a show! I've loved his music ever since.
slapshot1894
Wonderful voice.
oyveymaria
I looked this one up to remember my father. I can still hear him singing "The Last Farewell".
annme123
Thank Dad for making us wake up to Roger in the moterhome on our camping trips. To this day, my sisters and I are probably his youngest fans and saw him at the Paramont in around '88. We actualy waited after (like a rock concert) to shake his hand. He is the best whistler ever and I enjoy his originals much more than his remakes.
I HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO ROGER FOR 15-20 YRS. HIS MUSIC HAS HELPED ME MANY TIMES WHEN I WAS IN BAD SITUATIONS OVERSEAS,HE IS MY KING OF MUSIC,AND I LIKE ALL OF HIS. WHAT A SINGER HE IS.
psiniff0
I also played a cassette of Mr Whittaker so often I thought it would wear out. His music and his voice calm me when I am stressed. Love him.
jerry020
Voice like velvet. Many other good musicians, but only one Roger Whitaker.
I too love Mr Whittaker... h i s Christmas album ---yes I said album---I do remember vinyl...lol. . . h a s one of my favourite Christmas songs...Darc y the Dragon...tak e a listen to it if you get a chance...Is a great song for children :D
Like other reviewers, I have to say, I've been listening to him since I was a child. I find his voice most comforting. Able to bring me joy and break my heart. I'll always be a fan.
34shell
I have been listening to Mr. Whittaker since I was four, when dad bought our first "Roger" cassette. My dad and I have listened to that cassette so many times that I am very surprised it still plays. I have very fond memories of listening to his music with daddy. Thanks Mr. Whittaker, for your beautiful and most comforting voice.
ackerbex3
He has one of the warmest, truest voices in the business - truly born to sing.
Roger has such a unique tonal quality..... . . a true gift from God.

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[92, 118, 104, 118, 114, 107, 123, 74, 101, 127, 121, 88, 78, 97, 89, 96, 68, 99, 93, 67, 102, 81, 90, 66, 84, 90, 103, 85, 82, 127, 77, 113, 117, 107, 115, 76, 73, 84, 66, 85, 101, 127, 65, 92, 64, 98, 88, 108, 81, 93, 100, 118, 107, 85, 81, 97, 123, 110, 87, 126, 119, 93, 81, 113, 74, 66, 70, 88, 91, 124, 117, 76, 122, 119, 85, 79, 111, 99, 118, 97, 96, 75, 90, 73, 108, 86, 102, 114, 124, 100, 66, 75, 127, 123, 112, 102, 103, 75, 89, 90, 106, 78, 95, 74, 93, 69, 87, 99, 126, 116, 100, 89, 92, 74, 118, 85, 89, 82, 120, 75, 101, 98, 112, 76, 107, 120, 69, 65, 79, 84, 104, 70, 77, 108, 83, 64, 118, 90, 117, 91, 114, 69, 78, 70, 88, 120, 84, 115, 126, 114, 95, 121, 93, 119, 86, 103, 115, 71, 68, 99, 124, 103, 79, 118, 93, 72, 70, 96, 80, 115, 92, 90, 97, 64, 71, 83, 85, 83, 110, 120, 106, 115, 101, 76, 95, 87, 77, 71, 115, 90, 104, 114, 65, 101, 115, 89, 98, 83, 126, 108, 113, 65, 126, 87, 95, 105, 65, 89, 71, 118, 123, 121, 116, 89, 109, 84, 64, 103, 117, 122, 116, 103, 70, 90, 106, 85, 83, 118, 108, 72, 110, 84, 74, 124, 84, 80, 108, 120, 72, 74, 95, 95, 125, 122, 105, 105, 84, 73, 73, 117, 84, 95, 116, 120, 112, 73, 71, 74, 104, 98, 105, 83, 103, 127, 72, 107, 102, 89, 92, 123, 79, 108, 80, 91, 124, 88, 91, 108, 110, 93, 71, 124, 92, 65, 74, 81, 119, 79, 109, 119, 116, 89, 110, 73, 113, 96, 108, 74, 87, 112, 65, 113, 122, 74, 102, 114, 111, 105, 98, 67, 81, 119, 126, 85, 119, 72, 75, 97, 67, 71, 101, 99, 90, 65, 123, 67, 127, 114, 92, 113, 118, 106, 86, 117, 122, 120, 74, 67, 71, 90, 115, 116, 113, 99, 77, 120, 117, 81, 77, 79, 65, 95, 86, 72, 97, 77, 108, 72, 75, 73, 108, 85, 83, 98, 89, 87, 101, 69, 92, 85, 123, 122, 107, 85, 67, 89, 117, 104, 127, 88, 101, 71, 105, 98, 85, 80, 73, 87, 108, 94, 68, 126, 95, 71, 92, 74, 127, 72, 105, 73, 127, 95, 100, 66, 123, 107, 68, 77, 85, 110, 110, 84, 74, 113, 99, 105, 115, 127, 65, 71, 82, 98, 112, 121, 108, 81, 112, 119, 69, 122, 114, 95, 120, 71, 97, 85, 120, 102, 122, 75, 127, 124, 104, 97, 108, 92, 122, 75, 114, 122, 123, 66, 65, 77, 88, 88, 109, 79, 78, 78, 93, 73, 107, 120, 123, 80, 83, 116, 83, 85, 86, 87, 76, 104, 96, 84, 115, 85, 115, 119, 121, 126, 89, 97, 113, 65, 106, 105, 94, 104, 112, 110, 69, 97, 117, 90, 81, 70, 84, 108, 64, 114, 90, 101, 73, 72, 88, 106, 120, 124, 109, 71]