It being the end of March, we felt it was time to talk a little bit about one of the Christmas albums we have displayed in the Music Room, this one memorably called “The Christmas Album.” The man behind it is none other than Roger Whitaker. Born in Kenya in 1936 to British parents, the young Roger grew up surrounded by music, with his grandfather a singer and his father a violinist. Roger took up guitar. He was drafted into the military after he graduated, and served fighting Mau Mau insurgents before entering medical school, but realized that wasn’t his calling. Rather, teaching was.
Whitaker studied zoology and marine sciences, making cash singing on the side, before finally realizing that music was his destiny. He sang, played instruments and, most notably, whistled his way to fame playing music of numerous ethnicities before settling into his greatest successes singing in German. He’s barely left an impact on the American charts, which is not to say he hasn’t enjoyed good sales. In a career spanning six decades, Whitaker has enjoyed over 250 silver, gold and platinum albums and, while retired from touring, continues to record music today. On display in our music room is his 1978 Christmas album. But don’t look for it on the wall of vinyl. Ours is in the beloved 8-track cassette format, near our radio collection.