Post by trekkielo on Sept 22, 2023 12:12:36 GMT -5
May Roger Whittaker RIP.
Whittaker hosted a radio programme in The United Kingdom in 1971, backed by an orchestra with arrangements by Zack Lawrence. Whittaker says "one of the ideas I had was to invite listeners to send their poems or lyrics to me and I would make songs out of them. We got a million replies, and I did one each week for 26 weeks."
Ron A. Webster, a silversmith from Birmingham, England, sent Whittaker his poem entitled "The Last Farewell", and this became one of the selections to appear on the radio program. It was recorded, and featured on Whittaker's 1971 album New World in the Morning (A Special Kind of Man in the US and Canada). It is one of the fifty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide.
According to Whittaker, the wife of a program director for a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, was travelling in Canada, in 1975, and heard Whittaker's four-year-old recording on the radio. After she returned to the United States, she asked her husband to play it on the station. After he played the song a few times, listeners called the station to discover more about the song and singer, and soon thereafter "The Last Farewell" was on the charts. The single reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at #19 in June 1975, the only single of Whittaker's career to appear on the Hot 100. It also went to #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart. The song first hit the Canadian charts in November 1974 and peaked at #64 in December. It then re-entered the charts in April 1975.
The response in America led the single to achieve success in other parts of the world, including in the United Kingdom, peaking at #2 on the UK Singles Chart. It was kept from #1 in the UK by Rod Stewart's "Sailing", resulting in an oddity that the top 2 songs in the UK singles chart at the time had a nautical theme. "The Last Farewell" also went to #1 in 11 other countries, selling an estimated 11 million copies worldwide, making it Whittaker's best-known song.
Whittaker says much of the appeal of "The Last Farewell" comes from the classical-sounding nature of the opening French horn solo. This arrangement was done by Zack Lawrence for the song's initial airing on Whittaker's radio programme.
From the mid-1970s until about 1981, WGN-TV, "Chicago's Very Own Channel Nine" used the introductory fanfare in its station identification.
The song has since been covered by many artists. In 1976, Elvis Presley included "The Last Farewell" on his album, From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee. This version was released as a posthumous single in the UK in 1984, peaking at #48 in December.
Last Edit: Sept 22, 2023 12:15:53 GMT -5 by trekkielo