Slim Whitman turned 84 on Sunday. On Monday, the Nashville Tennessean declared him dead.
Well, he's NOT. The president of Slim Whitman Collectors International was quick to refute the news of Whitman's passing. (The fact that no other news outlet has picked this up should also clarify his non-death.)
This isn't the first time that someone has required the Mark Twain "rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated" treatment. The first edition of the otherwise marvelous country music encyclopedia Definitive Country listed Claude King's death as 1985 -- a terrible shock to the still very-much-alive Claude King.
But perhaps the best (?) example of media-induced premature death was People magazine reporting the passing of actor Abe Vigoda in 1982. That little faux pas has taken on a life of its own, thanks to a web site that keeps everyone updated on Vigoda's status. Without question, this is one of the funniest web sites you'll ever visit. Vigoda also enjoyed a little humor at his own expense, posing in a coffin with a copy of the magazine that erroneously declared him dead.
Whitman told Loren Knapp, president of Slim Whitman Collectors International, that he feels like he's 40 -- one day after turning 84! We'll have to report this legend's obituary eventually -- but thankfully, today is not that day.