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Wednesday 28 January 2009

Whistling Special: Whittaker in 2010

We have an extra full post today: two songs and - for those of you who believe blogging can be a force for change - a campaign!

The theme is whistling, a much underrated artistic form.

First up is the Wizard of Whistle himself, Roger Whittaker. Although best known for "Mexican Whistler", he has recorded many other songs ending in the word "whistler" with various nationalities plonked in front of it: Australian, African, Paraguayan and this one - "Finnish Whistler".

The second selection is what these days gets called post-punk, although I don't recall anyone ever using the phrase at the time (but don't get me started on that): "Die Matrosen" by LiLiPut. Obviously compared to the old Prince of Pucker the whistling is rather amateurish, but I find it endearing and you have to admire these plucky Swiss lasses for giving it a go.

Finally, the campaign. While "researching" this post I discovered there is an annual International Whistlers' Convention held every year, usually in North Carolina. This is the website:

This year's convention is in April and it is not too late to enter. If you have not done so before you might be advised to read the "Suggestions for first-time whistlers" before going on to the more complex "Guidance for contestants and judges". The advice to novices includes the following: "The IWC has noticed that some judges expect classical selections to be treated formally. Suggestions have been to treat the music as would an opera singer with poise, grace and appropriate gestures. The IWC leaves the choice open to individual whistlers". It concludes: "Do not take whistling too seriously". Heaven forbid.

A quick look at the list of past winners reveals that 2008 was a particularly good year for the Benelux countries, with Geert Chatrou of the Netherlands winning both the Internatonal Male Grand Champion and the coveted Entertainer of the Year categories, and Bobbejaan Schoepen of Belgium being elected to the Whistlers' Hall of Fame.

And this is where the campaign comes in. The Hall of Fame is scandalously biased to the US and Canada, with only two people from outside North America ever having been elected. Almost unbelievably, neither of them are the Titan of Trill, Roger Whittaker. This needs to put right and, fortunately, working together we can do something about it. As well as the two songs I have uploaded the nomination form for the Hall of Fame. Please join me in bombarding the IWC to ensure that Roger takes his rightful place alongside the likes of Purves Pullen and Patty Ediger. We are too late to get nominations in for this year, but together we can make it "Whittaker in 2010".

Here are the songs and the form. Enjoy the music and GET NOMINATING NOW!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the whistling Ernie. I'm a great fan myself and find that a spot of whistling often helps pass the time at work.

    On a sadder note, have you anything to share which would appropriately mark today's passing of John Martyn?