Roger Whittaker is a British singer, guitarist, and songwriter known for whistling through his songs and having a baritone voice. Growing up, he watched his father play the violin as his grandfather performed gigs at local clubs in Nairobi, Kenya. He realized he was talented at playing the guitar at a young age. Though Whittaker pursued zoology, biochemistry, and marine biology after relocating to the UK, he knew music predominated his career choices. Since then, he’s released hits after hits. Here are the best ten songs.
10. Mexican Whistler (Whistle Stop! 1968)
According to Music Apple, Mexican Whistler is just another excuse to make Whittaker appreciate whistling, a skill he learned while growing up in Kenya. While whistling is considered rude by many nationalities, it’s okay to use it in a song or tune.
9. Mamy Blue (Alweer alle 13 goed- 1971)
Mamy Blue was first performed by Hubert Giraud, a French singer, and songwriter, in 1970. That means the first lyrics were in French. A year later, Whittaker renditioned it in English. The song has also attracted various versions in different languages, further growing its popularity across Europe. You can spell it as Mammy Blue in English. Giraud composed this fantastic song while sitting in his car waiting for the Parisian traffic jam to ease. He had already finished its demo but hadn’t released it. So, when it was finally released, its lyrics were in Italian. Gradually, the song stole many singers’ and listeners’ hearts, and other versions had to come up.
8. All My Life (Roger Whittaker- 1975)
According to Spotify, this Whittaker’s 3:33-minute song describes how grateful the narrator is to have found love. So, he pens a poem to make her feel appreciated, hoping they’ll never break up. I found the following words powerful and inspiring: “All of my life with my love/I’m going to surround you/ taking the time to prove I love you.” If those words don’t make you feel butterflies in your stomach, I doubt if any other will.
7. Morning Please Don’t Come (New World in the Morning- 1971)
Thanks to the lyrics, this is one of the most romantic songs that every lover should have on their playlist. Whittaker opens the song by hoping that the morning doesn’t come as he’s not done watching his lover sleep. Tom Springfield wrote the song for Whittaker’s 1971 album.
6. Dirty Old Town (The Very Best of Roger Whittaker- 1976)
Dirty Old Town was written and performed by Ewan MacColl in 1952. Whittaker renditioned in 1976. The song primarily sheds light on a town with dark secrets, leaving you to wonder if it’s worth going to.
5. Streets of London (New World in the Morning- 1971)
Streets of London was initially sung by Ralph McTell in 1969. Whittaker took over with a slightly similar version, releasing it two years later. When McTell was asked about the inspiration behind the song, he revealed that it had to do with his life experiences. After touring Europe, he wanted to call it “Streets of Paris.” Upon realizing he was singing about London, he settled for this title. Whether you prefer McTell’s or Whittaker’s version, it’s a beautiful song that deserves to be on your playlist.
4. The Last Farewell (New World in the Morning- 1971)
The Last Farewell is one song involving millions of brilliant minds. Whittaker approached people to send lyrics and poems so he could craft the song. After releasing it, one lady from Atlanta, Georgia, heard it and requested her husband to play it on a radio station. Listeners were so amazed by the song’s brilliance that they kept requesting the radio hosts to replay it. It didn’t take long before it found its way to the charts. According to Oldies, it peaked at 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.
3. New World in the Morning (New World in the Morning- 1971)
Whittaker talks about the new world in the morning never happening soon in this song. However, he hopes some miracle will happen, so we shouldn’t lose hope. This song was written by Whittaker and covered by James Pegler in 1970. It peaked at 12 on the US Easy Listening charts and 17 on UK’s Top 100. Other versions of this fantastic track were recorded by Al Martino, The Alan Caddy Orchestra & Singers, Eddy Arnold, and Gloria Loring, among others.
2. I Don’t Believe in “If” Anymore (Don’t Believe in “If” Anymore- 1970)
If you ask music analysts about Roger Whittaker’s music style, they’d agree that it’s easy to listen to. This is one of the songs proving this fact. Produced by Dennis Preston, the song peaked at eight on the UK Singles Chart. Judging from the song’s lyrics, it’s clear that Whittaker had a terrible childhood. At one point, his parents were attacked and tortured for more than six hours by unknown men in Kenya. In one interview, he confessed that the ordeal ultimately changed how he viewed life.
1. Durham Town (New World in the Morning- 1971)
The best song Whittaker ever released is Durham Town, which became number 12 on the UK Singles Chart. It spent 18 consecutive weeks in the top 20. Five years later, it peaked at eight on the Canadian RPM Pop Music Playlist. The US Billboard’s Easy Listening chart ranked it at 23. Initially, Whittaker wanted the song to be Newcastle instead of Durham. After consulting his producer, they agreed that Durham would attract a wider audience. The song also has versions by Anne and Laura Brand from their album, The Pride O’ North/1970). The second version was by Val Doonican in 1971.