Conspiracy theorists who see The Carlyle Group at the center of a vast corporate plot to take over the world must grapple with this unsettling detail – the private equity firm's chief spokesperson, Chris Ullman, has whistled for George W. Bush in the Oval Office.
Yes, whistled. Ullman, Carlyle's corporate spokesman, is, in fact, a four-time international whistling champion who has performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, on The Today Show with Katie Couric, opened for crooner Tony Bennett, as well as entertained at countless private and public appearances.
Ullman, based in Washington DC, recently self-produced and released a CD of himself whistling classical music while accompanied by a 41-piece orchestra. “The whole project cost $30,000,” says Ullman. “I pledged to my wife that I would recoup it.”
In order to break even on his album, “The Symphonic Whistler,” Ullman must sell 2,000 copies, which are available exclusively from his website, happywhistler.com. He fulfills orders himself. To date, Ullman has sold more than 620. The remainder are in Ullman's attic, awaiting shipment.
Ullman learned whistling from his father and perfected his technique during hours of solitary newspaper delivery as a teenager.
Ullman can count his employers as fans. Carlyle co-founders Bill Conway and David Rubenstein each own copies of his CD, although Rubenstein has yet to pay for his, according to a well-placed source.
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