other notable deaths

September 06, 2007

JANIS MARTIN, 67 Rockabilly pioneer

Rockabilly pioneer Janis Martin, who was billed as "The Female Elvis," died Monday of cancer at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., her husband said Tuesday.

Bradley Whitt, her husband of 28 years, said Ms. Martin learned she had cancer shortly after what turned out to be her last public performance, a cancer benefit in Richmond in March.

Ms. Martin rose to fame in the 1950s as Elvis Presley's label mate at RCA Victor, which promoted her as "The Female Elvis."

Her first record and biggest hit, "Will You, Willyum," was released in 1956, when Ms. Martin was 15. The song made the Billboard Top 10 for one week and sold about 750,000 copies.

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