According to First Coast News, Whitman died in Orange Park, Florida Wednesday night of heart and kidney failure. He reportedly passed away “peacefully” at Orange Park Medical Center, surrounded by his family.
During his decades-long career, Whitman released dozens of albums, selling over 120 million of them. Though he was best known for early 50s hits such as “Indian Love Call,” “Keep it a Secret,” and “Rose Marie,” Whitman continued to tour and release new music well into the 2000s.
Whitman was born in Tampa, Florida and served in the South Pacific with the U.S. Navy during World War II. A self-taught guitarist, Whitman began his music career with RCA Records in 1948 while still working part-time jobs to support himself.
Younger generations might be most familiar with Whitman’s music from the role it plays in the 1996 movie Mars Attacks!. “Indian Love Call” is featured in the movie as humanity’s best weapon against invading homicidal Martians, whose brains cannot handle Whitman’s yodeling:
(via First Coast News)