b. 2 February 1925, Hull, Yorkshire, England, d. 15 January 1980, Sydney, Australia. A popular ballad singer in the UK during the 50s, with a tenor voice that proved to be suitable for light opera. After working as a labourer, and singing in local clubs, Whitfield spent some time in the merchant navy before signing to Decca Records and having hits in 1953 with ‘Bridge Of Sighs’, ‘Answer Me’ (number 1) and ‘Rags To Riches’. He toured the variety circuit, and in 1954 appeared in the Royal Command Performance with other pop stars such as Guy Mitchell, Dickie Valentine, and Frankie Laine. Throughout the 50s, he defied the onslaught of rock ‘n’ roll, and registered strongly in the UK Top 30 with ‘The Book’, ‘Santo Natale’, ‘Beyond The Stars’, ‘Mama’, ‘Ev’rywhere’, ‘When You Lose The One You Love’, ‘My September Love’, ‘My Son John’, ‘My Unfinished Symphony’, ‘Adoration Waltz’, ‘I’ll Find You’, ‘Cry My Heart’, ‘On The Street Where You Live’ and ‘The Right To Love’. The extraordinary ‘Cara Mia’, on which Whitfield was accompanied by Mantovani And His Orchestra, dominated the UK number 1 position for a staggering 10 weeks, and sold over three and a half million copies.
From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.