top of page

Iowa Time Machine: William Eliott Whitmore - May 11, 1978

Iowa Time Machine ⏰: On May 11, 1978, blues, country, and folk singer William Elliott Whitmore was born in Lee County. Far famed for his Iowa inspired lyrics, Whitmore continues to derive inspiration from his home state.

Whitmore spent his childhood on a 160-acre horse farm just outside of Keokuk in Iowa’s extreme southeastern corner. A farm dating back to Whitmore’s third great-grandfather, the musician still owns the farm despite his career success. Born into a musical family where his father played guitar and his mother played accordion and piano, Whitmore sang from a young age while picking up guitar and banjo as a teenager. Eventually finding his way to Iowa City, Whitmore spent time in the local ‘scene’ and formed a band called ‘Lost Cause.’

Whitmore soon hit the road, first as a roadie with local punk band ‘Ten Grand’ and later as the band’s opening act. Eventually he signed with Chicago’s Southern Records and released his debut album “Hymns for the Hopeless” on the label in 2003. 

With at least nine releases to date and more planned, Whitmore continues to draw on his southeastern Iowa roots for inspiration. In 2016, Whitmore formed the folk band ‘Middle Western’ with musician and producer David Zollo. #IowaOTD #IowaHistoryDaily #IowaHistoryCalendar


bottom of page