Remembering Margaret Whiting

I was sorry to read about the recent passing of Margaret Whiting, a talented vocalist who enjoyed a long and successful career. Although her name might not be instantly familiar to modern music fans, she was very popular at one time and sold a lot of records through the years, showing an ability to reinvent herself a couple of times along the way.

She was born to the business. The daughter of successful songwriter Richard Whiting, while growing up she was also mentored by a close family friend, Johnny Mercer. In fact, it was Mercer — a legendary singer/songwriter and one of the founders of Capitol Records — who helped steer her into the kind of pop standards that propelled her to stardom in the 1940s. He even occasionally recorded duets with her, like the best-selling “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Margaret would continue to be a favorite of fans for a number of years, making radio appearances and singing with bands like those of Billy Butterfield and Paul Weston, and also hitting the charts with a lot of best-selling records. Some of her biggest hits included “Moonlight In Vermont,” “All Through The Day,” “Far Away Places,” and “Now Is The Hour.”

Eventually she even dipped her toe into country music, regularly teaming up with Jimmy Wakely and hitting the charts with songs like “Slippin’ Around.” She also became a fixture on TV variety programs and talk shows, and continued to remain popular through the years, entertaining her many fans in spot appearances even into the new millennium.  She was 86 when she died earlier this week in New Jersey.

Johnny Mercer & Margaret Whiting – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

 

7 thoughts on “Remembering Margaret Whiting

  1. “Slipping AROUND”. She also recored a song called “Broken Down Merry Go Round” that you can find on YouTube. Popular during the early 50s when I was a high school kid.

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  2. I first heard of her in a 50s TV sitcom she starred in with her sister, “Those Whiting Girls.” For the longest time my tendency towards pop hero worship allowed me to conflate Margaret White-ING with Paul White-MAN, the jazz conductor who premiered Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. I went around thinking she was his daughter, even though I knew the names were different. Duh.

    Another tidbit that bears repeating: her last husband was a man who went by the name of Jack Wrangler, a 70s gay porn star some (myself included) will remember. Don’t know how or why they hooked up, but when he told her he was gay, she is reported to have said, “only around the edges, dear.” Sweet. They stayed married until he died in the 90s of emphysema.

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  3. Does anybody have a copy of “In Love In Vain” by Margaret Whiting? I think it was the flip side of Moonlight In Vermont”

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