File 2012-023, Reel 886, 1 of 6 - Untitled : [sound recordings by Roger Whittaker]

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Untitled : [sound recordings by Roger Whittaker]

General material designation

  • Sound recording

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code

2012-023, Reel 886, 1 of 6

Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • [19-] (Creation)
    Whittaker, Roger

Physical description area

Physical description

1 audio reel : 15 ips, stereo ; 1/4 in.

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Roger Whittaker was born in Nairobi Kenya on March 22, 1936 to parents who originally hailed from Staffordshire, England. While in school in Kenya, Whittaker was involved in choir and also gained exposure to the percussion and rhythms of East African music which he has said, "[has] played a great part in everything I have ever written and sung." In 1959, he arrived in Britain to study zoology, biochemistry, and marine biology at Bangor University. During this time, Whittaker continued his involvement with music by singing and entertaining in local clubs and writing his own songs. After having been approached by a major music publisher to record his first single for his university’s Rag Week Show, “The Charge of the Light Brigade”, Whittaker then recorded his second single, “Steel Men”, which received air play and entered the British charts while he was sitting his exams. By this time, he consulted with his professors to leave his studies to focus on music. Whittaker made radio and television appearances throughout the 1960s when his singles, “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Mexican Whistler”, had started gaining attention in Europe by the late 1960s. Whittaker eventually gained success in the U.S. with the single “The Last Farewell” in 1975, which gradually become a worldwide hit selling over 11,000,000 copies. In the 1980s, he launched a major international songwriting competition, ‘Children Helping Children’, from the United Nations in New York through UNESCO. Children from all over the world were asked to submit lyrics and poems on the subject of promoting peace and understanding, the best of which Whittaker would put to music and record. All proceeds raised by sales were donated to UNESCO’s Education for Handicapped Children programme. During this time, Whittaker was also involved in making a film about his native Kenya. The result, ‘Roger Whittaker in Kenya’, was screened in Britain by BBC Television in 1983, followed by a worldwide transmission. By the 1990s, Whittaker continued to record and tour extensively and, by the early 2000s, he announced plans to retire. However, having moved to Ireland to live near the River Shannon, Whittaker was inspired to write again and eventually began recording and touring again.

Custodial history

Scope and content

File is reel one of six from this recording session, containing seven sound recordings.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

See 2012-023, Reel 887 for reel six of six from this recording session.

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Subject access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language of description

Script of description


Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related genres