Fred Lowery (2 November 1909 – 11 December 1984) was a blind professional whistler who recorded a No. 9 Billboard chart hit version of "The High and the Mighty" with conductor and arranger LeRoy Holmes. Lowery whistled with Horace Heidt and Vincent Lopez in the 1930s and 40s. His 'Silent Night' and 'William Tell Overture' demonstrate the difference between everyday whistling and puccalo.
Lowery was born in Palestine in Anderson County in east Texas and lost his eyesight at the age of two after being stricken with scarlet fever. With an artificial right eye and limited vision in the left, Fred Lowery was legally blind - not totally blind. From the age of eight he was educated at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In 1929, when he was attending school, he met a bird imitator. "He encouraged me," he recalled, "and I began to discover there was more to whistling than bird calls." After a series of minor successes, including a radio show on WFAA in Dallas, and a 4 1/2 year engagement with the Vincent Lopez orchestra in New York, he was heard by Horace Heidt. Heidt gave Lowery his chance for national recognition as a featured part of his show. In 1945, Lowery struck out on his own. His 1939 version of the song Indian Love Call sold over 2 million copies. During his career, he performed at Carnegie Hall and at the White House.
He performed the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show.
Birth and Death Data: Born 1909, Died December 11, 1984
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1929 - 1960
Roles Represented in DAHR: whistling
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 36 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Brunswick||TM4030||10-in.||8/12/1929||Indian love call||Fred Lowery||Whistling solo||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||86866||10/5/1954||Theme from The Lost Hour||Alfredo Antonini Orchestra||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||86867||10/5/1954||Give me your heart||Alfredo Antonini Orchestra||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||86868||10/5/1954||Ballade de ballet||Alfredo Antonini Orchestra||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||86869||10/5/1954||Why reach for the moon||Alfredo Antonini Orchestra||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||87678||4/7/1955||My little mule-1||Alfredo Antonini Orchestra||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||100106||6/19/1956||[Unknown title(s)]||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||100107||6/19/1956||Theme from The Proud Ones||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||100108||6/19/1956||[Unknown title(s)]||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||100109||6/19/1956||Whistler's Daddy||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||105728||9/29/1958||Heartaches||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||105729||9/29/1958||Whistlin' Joe||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9566||11/14/1956||Sentimental journey||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9567||11/14/1956||The lonesome road||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9568||11/14/1956||The moon of Manakoora||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9569||11/14/1956||Pagan love song||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9570||11/14/1956||Tennessee waltz||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9571||11/14/1956||Moon love||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9572||11/14/1956||Happy hobo||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9573||11/14/1956||Walking along||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9574||11/14/1956||Indian love call||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9575||11/14/1956||Sleepy lagoon||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9576||11/14/1956||Sunrise serenade||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 9577||11/14/1956||Far away places||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
|Decca||NA 11039||3/26/1960||Easy goin'||Fred Lowery||vocalist, whistling|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Lowery, Fred," accessed January 24, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328324.
Lowery, Fred. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 24, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/328324.
"Lowery, Fred." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 24 January 2022.
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