Roger Whittaker, a beloved folk singer known for his timeless classics like “Durham Town” and “New World in the Morning,” has passed away at the age of 87.
The Whittaker family confirmed this sad news, stating that he peacefully departed on September 13 in a hospital located in southern France.
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1936 to English parents, Whittaker’s journey to musical stardom was a remarkable one. His father, recovering from a serious motorcycle accident, sought a warmer climate, eventually establishing a thriving grocery business in Kenya. Growing up, Roger was surrounded by African nannies and spoke Swahili before mastering English.
His path led him to the University of Bangor in Wales in 1959, where he pursued studies in zoology, biochemistry, and marine biology. Interestingly, his musical career took off as he entered his final degree exams with the release of “Steel Men,” which climbed the British charts.
Beyond his musical achievements, Roger Whittaker published his autobiography in 1986 with the assistance of his wife, Natalie. He performed at George Bush Snr’s golden wedding anniversary party and continued to delight audiences with his music and signature whistling.
In a private ceremony, Roger Whittaker was cremated and laid to rest on a day that celebrated the enduring legacy of an iconic artist.