For about 24 hours, nobody knew if country singer Slim Whitman was alive or dead – at least not until he called in to a Nashville newspaper January 23rd.
"All of a sudden, on Sunday, January 20, I died," the 84-year-old Whitman told the Tennessean. "I knew it was a lie. I kept looking at it. I thought, this could sort of get out of hand here. I thought, oh well, if it gets out of hand, I’ll go on a TV show and show them that I’m not dead."
Pollstar first learned of Whitman’s "demise" through a mention at the Tennessean’s Web site that simply listed his day of death. It was taken down but then his Wikipedia page listed his date of death, which was removed after Wiki editors said they talked to a Tennessean reporter who could not confirm the initial report.
Meanwhile, over here at Pollstar, although we pride ourselves on our extensive contact information, Whitman’s "people" were not in our database. As we went digging, a disc jockey in Nashville was reportedly announcing Whitman’s passing. Then, a "tearful friend" on stage told his audience that Slim had passed, according to the Tennessean.
Whitman, who lives in Jacksonville, Fla., told the paper he’s in great shape. He’s been a little out of action because his wife is on dialysis and he’s reluctant to travel. He went on a Jacksonville radio station and said he received many inquiries about his death.
"It seems like every 10 years something weird happens like that," Whitman told the paper. "I’m here. … I’m happy to be alive."