Margaret Whiting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Margaret Whiting
Whiting in New York, 1940s
Whiting in New York, 1940s
Background information
Birth nameMargaret Eleanor Whiting
Born(1924-07-22)July 22, 1924
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedJanuary 10, 2011(2011-01-10) (aged 86)
Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.
GenresJazz, traditional pop
Years active1942–2010
LabelsCapitol, Dot, Verve, London, Audiophile, DRG
WebsiteMusical biography of Margaret Whiting

Margaret Eleanor Whiting (July 22, 1924 – January 10, 2011) was an American popular music and country music singer who gained popularity in the 1940s and 1950s.[1]



Whiting was born in Detroit,[2] Her family moved to Los Angeles in 1929, when she was five years old. Her father, Richard, was a composer of popular songs, including the classics "Hooray for Hollywood", "Ain't We Got Fun?", and "On the Good Ship Lollipop".[3] Her sister, Barbara Whiting, was an actress (Junior Miss, Beware, My Lovely) and singer.

An aunt, Margaret Young, was a singer and popular recording artist in the 1920s. Whiting's singing ability was noticed at an early age and at seven she sang for singer-lyricist Johnny Mercer, with whom her father had collaborated on some popular songs, including "Too Marvelous for Words". In 1942, Mercer co-founded Capitol Records and signed Margaret to one of Capitol's first recording contracts.[4][1]

Recording career[edit]

Whiting's first recordings were as featured singer with various orchestras:[2]

In 1945, Whiting began to record under her own name, making such recordings as:

  • "All Through the Day" (1945, becoming a bestseller in the spring of 1946)
  • "In Love in Vain" (1945)
(these two from the movie "Centennial Summer")

Until the mid-1950s Whiting continued to record for Capitol, but as she ceased to record songs that charted as hits, she switched to Dot Records in 1957 and to Verve Records in 1960.[2] Whiting returned to Capitol in the early 1960s and then signed with London Records in 1966. On London, Whiting landed one last major hit single in 1966, "The Wheel of Hurt", which hit No. 1 on the Easy Listening singles chart. Her final solo albums were made for Audiophile (1980, 1982, 1985) and DRG Records (1991). Her distinguished conductors and musical arrangers through the years included Buddy Bregman, Frank DeVol, Russell Garcia, Johnny Mandel, Billy May, Marty Paich, Nelson Riddle, Pete Rugolo, and Paul Weston.

Radio career[edit]

Whiting co-starred on the 15-minute musical programs The Jack Smith Show[6] and Club Fifteen.[7] She also was a vocalist on The Eddie Cantor Show and was in the cast of The Philip Morris Follies of 1946 and The Railroad Hour.[7] Additionally, she was hostess on the Spotlight Revue[8] and a featured singer on the transcribed Barry Wood Show.[9] She also appeared in the role of a young Sophie Tucker in the January 13, 1957 CBS Radio Workshop presentation of "No Time For Heartaches".[10]

Television career[edit]

Margaret and Barbara Whiting starred as themselves in the situation comedy Those Whiting Girls. The show, produced by Desilu Productions, aired on CBS as a summer replacement series (in place of I Love Lucy) between July, 1955 and September, 1957.[11]

Margaret Whiting was a regular guest on variety shows and talk shows throughout the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, including Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town, when the musical series focused on Whiting's hometown of Detroit; The Big Record, The Bob Hope Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, The Tony Martin Show, The David Frost Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The George Jessel Show, The Guy Mitchell Show, The Jonathan Winters Show, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Nat King Cole Show, Over Easy, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, The Patti Page Show, The Red Skelton Hour, The Steve Allen Show, The Ford Show Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Texaco Star Theater, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Virginia Graham Show, and The Voice of Firestone.

In 1960, Whiting appeared as Vinnie Berkeley in one of the last episodes, "Martial Law", of the ABC/Warner Brothers western series, Colt .45. Paul Picerni was cast in the same segment as Duke Blaine.

In 1984, Whiting appeared in the television musical movie Taking My Turn. It was basically a filmed version of the 1983 off-Broadway show in which she appeared. This ensemble show also included Marni Nixon, Tiger Haynes, and Cissy Houston among others. The music was composed by Gary William Friedman with lyrics by Will Holt. The revue was centered on issues regarding aging. The stage production opened at New York City's Entermedia Theatre on June 9, 1983. It went on to win the 1984 Outer Critic's Circle Award for Best Lyrics/Music and was nominated for the 1984 Drama Desk Award for Best Musical (losing to Stephen Sondheim's Sunday In the Park With George). A cast recording of the stage production was released and subsequently re-released on CD.

In the 2000s, Whiting was interviewed in several documentaries about singers and songwriters of her era, including Judy Garland: By Myself (2004), Fever: The Music of Peggy Lee (2004), Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer (2007), Johnny Mercer: The Dream's on Me (2009), The Andrews Sisters: Queens of the Music Machines (2009) and Michael Feinstein's American Songbook (2010).

Cabaret Master Teacher[edit]

From 1989 through 2001, Whiting was the Artistic Director of the annual Cabaret and Performance Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford Connecticut. With other performers such as Julie Wilson and Anne Francine as well as musical directors like Tex Arnold, she spent 10 days instructing selected professionals and amateurs in the cabaret performance process.


Whiting was married four times, and had one child:[12]

  • Hubbell Robinson Jr., a writer, producer, and television executive (married December 29, 1948 – divorced August 18, 1949)[13]
  • Lou Busch, a ragtime pianist known as "Joe 'Fingers' Carr" (divorced; one daughter, Deborah, born 1950)
  • John Richard Moore, a founder of Panavision (married 1958 – divorced)
  • Jack Wrangler (John Stillman), 1970s and 1980s gay pornography film actor (married 1994, when Whiting was 70 and he was 48 – until his death from emphysema April 7, 2009)


Whiting died on January 10, 2011, aged 86, from natural causes at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey.[14][1][2]



Year Album US Pop LPs Label
1949 South Pacific (with Peggy Lee & Gordon MacRae) 4 Capitol
1950 Margaret Whiting Sings Rodgers and Hart
1954 Love Songs by Margaret Whiting
1956 Margaret Whiting Sings for the Starry-Eyed
1957 Goin' Places Dot
1958 Margaret
1959 Margaret Whiting's Great Hits
Ten Top Hits
1960 Just a Dream
Margaret Whiting Sings the Jerome Kern Songbook Verve
Broadway, Right Now! (with Mel Tormé)
1961 Past Midnight MGM
1967 The Wheel of Hurt 109 London
Maggie Isn't Margaret Anymore
1968 Pop Country
1980 Too Marvelous for Words Audiophile
1982 Come a Little Closer
1985 The Lady's in Love with You
1991 Then and Now DRG


Unrelated B-sides not shown

Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Contributing Artist Chart Positions Album
Pop Country AC
1942 "That Old Black Magic"
b/w "Hit the Road to Dreamland"
Freddie Slack & His Orchestra 10 Non-album tracks
1944 "Silver Wings in the Moonlight"
b/w "Furlough Fling"
Freddie Slack & His Orchestra 19
"My Ideal" Billy Butterfield & His Orchestra 12 Margaret Whiting Sings (10" LP)
"Moonlight in Vermont" 15 Love Songs
1945 "It Might as Well Be Spring"
b/w "How Deep Is the Ocean?" (Non-album track)
Paul Weston & His Orchestra 6 Margaret Whiting Sings (10" LP)
1946 "All Through the Day" / Carl Kress orchestra 11 Non-album tracks
"In Love in Vain" 12
"Come Rain or Come Shine"
b/w "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" (Non-album track)
Paul Weston orchestra 17 Love Songs
"Along with Me"
b/w "When You Make Love to Me"
Jerry Gray orchestra 13 Non-album tracks
b/w "For You, For Me, For Evermore"
"Guilty" / 4 Margaret Whiting Sings (10" LP)
"Oh, But I Do" 7 Non-album tracks
1947 "Beware My Heart"
b/w "What Am I Gonna Do About You"
Frank De Vol orchestra 21
"Spring Isn't Everything"
b/w "Time After Time"
"Old Devil Moon" / 11 Margaret Whiting Sings (10" LP)
"Ask Anyone Who Knows" 21 Non-album track
"Little Girl Blue"
b/w "Thou Swell"
25 Margaret Whiting Sings Rodgers and Hart (10" LP)
"Don't Tell Me"
b/w "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"
Non-album tracks
"You Do"
b/w "My Future Just Passed"
"Lazy Countryside" / 21
"So Far" 14
"Pass That Peace Pipe" / 8
1948 "Let's Be Sweethearts Again" 22
"But Beautiful" / 21
"Now Is The Hour" 2
"What's Good About Goodbye"
b/w "Gypsy in My Soul" (from Margaret Whiting Sings 10" LP)
"Please Don't Kiss Me"
b/w "April Showers" (from Margaret Whiting Sings 10" LP)
"It's You or No One"
b/w "Nobody But You"
"A Tree in the Meadow"
b/w "I'm Sorry But I'm Glad" (Non-album track)
1 Love Songs
"What Did I Do"
b/w "Heat Wave" (from Margaret Whiting Sings 10" LP)
Non-album tracks
"Far Away Places"
b/w "My Own True Love"
"My Dream Is Yours"
b/w "While the Angelus Was Ringing"
1949 "Forever and Ever"
b/w "Dreamer with a Penny"
"It's a Big, Wide, Wonderful World" Jack Smith
"Comme Ci, Comme Ca"
b/w "Great Guns"
"When Is Sometime"
b/w "Story of My Life"
"A Wonderful Guy"
b/w "Younger Than Springtime"
12 Love Songs
"Baby, It's Cold Outside"
b/w "I Never Heard You Say"
Johnny Mercer 3 Non-album tracks
"Slippin' Around" / Jimmy Wakely 1 1
"Wedding Bells" 30 6
"Everytime I Meet You"
b/w "It Happens Every Spring"
"Let's Take an Old-Fashioned Walk"
b/w "Paris Wakes Up and Smiles"
Frank De Vol orchestra
"Dime a Dozen"
b/w "Whirlwind"
"St. Louis Blues"
b/w "It's a Most Unusual Day"
Frank De Vol orchestra
"Festival of Roses"
b/w "Three Rivers"
Frank De Vol orchestra
"The Sun Is Always Shining"
b/w "Sorry"
Frank De Vol orchestra
"Lucky Us"
b/w "Ain't We Got Fun"
Bob Hope
Billy May orchestra
"I'll Never Slip Around Again"
b/w "Six Times a Week and Twice on Sunday"
Jimmy Wakely 8 2 I'll Never Slip Around Again
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
b/w "Mistletoe Kiss Polka"
Frank De Vol orchestra
B: The Mellomen
Non-album tracks
1950 "Broken Down Merry Go Round" / Jimmy Wakely 12 2
"The Gods Were Angry With Me" 17 3
"You're an Old Smoothie"
b/w "He's Funny That Way"
Love Songs
"I Said My Pajamas (and Put on My Prayers)"
b/w "Be Mine"
Frank De Vol 21 Non-album tracks
"My Foolish Heart"
b/w "Stay with the Happy People"
Frank DeVol orchestra 17
"Let's Go to Church (Next Sunday Morning)"
b/w "Why Do You Say Those Things"
Jimmy Wakely 13 2
b/w "I Gotta Get Out of the Habit"
Frank De Vol & Les Baxter Chorus
"Shawl of Calway Grey"
b/w "If You Were Only Mine"
"Blind Date"
b/w "Home Cookin'"
Bob Hope 16
"Close Your Pretty Eyes"
b/w "Fool's Paradise" (Non-album track)
Jimmy Wakely I'll Never Slip Around Again
"I Didn't Know What Time It Was
b/w "This Can't Be Love"
Frank De Vol orchestra Margaret Whiting Sings Rodgers and Hart (10" LP)
"I've Forgotten You"
b/w "You're Mine, You"
Les Baxter Chorus Non-album tracks
"Friendly Star"
b/w "Let's Do It Again"
Frank De Vol orchestra
"I'm In Love With You"
b/w "Don't Rock The Boat Dear"
Dean Martin
"I've Never Been In Love Before"
b/w "The Best Thing For You" (Non-album track)
Frank De Vol orchestra Love Songs
"A Bushel and A Peck"
b/w "Beyond The Reef"
Jimmy Wakely 6 6 Non-album tracks
"Christmas Candy"
b/w "Silver Bells"
1951 "Once You Find Your Guy"
b/w "A Man Is Nothing But A Wolf"
"Let's Go To Church (Next Sunday Morning)"
b/w "Easter Parade" (Non-album track)
Jimmy Wakely I'll Never Slip Around Again
b/w "Lonesome Gal"
Frank De Vol orchestra Non-album tracks
"Sing You Sinners"
b/w "You Are The One"
"Make The Man Love Me"
b/w "We Kiss In A Shadow"
Lou Busch orchestra
"Something Wonderful"
b/w "Hello Young Lovers"
"When You and I Were Young, Maggie, Blues"
b/w "Till We Meet Again" (Non-album track)
Jimmy Wakely 20 7 I'll Never Slip Around Again
b/w "The End Of A Love Affair"
Lou Busch orchestra Non-album tracks
"Good Morning, Mr. Echo"
b/w "River Road Two-Step"
"I Don't Want To Be Free"
b/w "Let's Live A Little" (Non-album track)
Jimmy Wakely 5 I'll Never Slip Around Again
1952 "I'll Walk Alone"
b/w "I Could Write A Book"
Lou Busch orchestra 29 Non-album tracks
"Outside Of Heaven"
b/w "Alone Together"
1953 "Try Me One More Time"
b/w "Foggy River"
"Why Don't You Believe Me?"
b/w "Come Back To Me, Johnny"
Lou Busch orchestra 29
"Singing Bells"
b/w "Take Care, My Love"
b/w "I Learned To Love You Too Later" (from I'll Never Slip Around Again)
Jimmy Wakely
"Something Wonderful Happens"
b/w "Where Did He Go"
"The Night Holds No Fear (For The Lover)"
b/w "I Just Love You"
"There's A Silver Moon On The Golden Gate"
b/w "The Tennessee Church Bells"
Jimmy Wakely
1954 "Moonlight In Vermont" new version Lou Busch orchestra 29
b/w "Ask Me"
Nelson Riddle orchestra
"An Affair Of The Heart"
b/w "How Long Has It Been"
"All I Want Is All There Is and Then Some"
b/w "Can This Be Love"
"My Own True Love"
b/w "My Son, My Son"
"It's Nice To Have You Here"
b/w "I Speak To The Stars"
1955 "Allah Be Prais'd"
b/w "Stowaway"
"A Man"
b/w "Mama's Pearls"
David Cavanaugh orchestra
"Lover Lover (Never Leave Me)"
b/w "A Kiss You A Million Times"
Frank De Vol
1956 "Old Enough"
b/w "Second Time In Love"
Frank De Vol
"True Love"
b/w "Haunting Love"
A: Buddy Bregman
B: Frank De Vol
"The Money Tree"
b/w "Maybe I Love Him"
Billy May orchestra 20
1957 "Speak For Yourself John"
b/w "Kill Me With Kisses"
Billy Vaughn orchestra Just A Dream
"I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)"
b/w "That's Why I Was Born" (Non-album track)
A: Billy Vaughan
B: Milton Rogers
74 Margaret
"Silver Bells"
b/w "Christmas Candy"
Jimmy Wakely Non-album tracks
1958 "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry"
b/w "Hot Spell" (from Just A Dream)
"Just A Dream"
b/w "Pretty-Eyed Baby"
Just A Dream
"I Love You Because"
b/w "The Waiting Game" (from Just A Dream)
1959 "I'm Alone Because I Love You"
b/w "Top Of The Moon"
Just A Dream
"Half As Much"
b/w "My Ideal"
Non-album tracks
1960 "Why Was I Born"
b/w "You Couldn't Be Cuter"
Margaret Whiting Sings The Jerome Kern Songbook
1961 "What's New At The Zoo"
b/w "Hey, Look Me Over"
Mel Torme Broadway, Right Now!
"On Second Thought"
b/w "Who Can? You Can!"
Non-album tracks
1966 "Somewhere There's Love"
b/w "If This Is Goodbye" (from Maggie Isn't Margaret Anymore)
29 The Wheel Of Hurt
"The Wheel Of Hurt"
b/w "Nothing Lasts Forever"
Arnold Goland orchestra 26 1
1967 "Just Like A Man"
b/w "The World Inside Your Arms" (from The Wheel Of Hurt)
132 29 Maggie Isn't Margaret Anymore
"Only Love Can Break A Heart"
b/w "Where Do I Stand" (from The Wheel Of Hurt)
Arnold Goland orchestra 96 4
"I Almost Called Your Name"
b/w "Let's Pretend" (Non-album track)
108 4 Pop Country
1968 "I Hate To See Me Go" / 127 27
"It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin'" 115 28
b/w "Am I Losing You" (from Pop Country)
117 19 Non-album tracks
"Can't Get You Out Of My Mind"
b/w "Maybe Just One More"
124 11
1969 "Where Was I"
b/w "Love's The Only Answer"
"At The Edge Of The Ocean"
b/w "Love Has A Way"
1970 "(Z Theme) Life Goes On"
b/w "By Now"
"Until It's Time For You To Go"
b/w "I'll Tell Him Today"


  1. ^ a b c Mapes, Jillian. "Margaret Whiting, Iconic Standards Singer, Dies at 86". Billboard, January 12, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Heckman, Don. "Margaret Whiting Dies at 86; pop singer mentored by Johnny Mercer". Los Angeles Times, January 13, 2011.
  3. ^ "Remembering Margaret Whiting: The Voice Of Standards". NPR's Fresh Air, January 13, 2011.
  4. ^ Vera, Billy (2000). From the Vaults Vol. 1: The Birth of a Label – the First Years (CD). Hollywood: Capitol Records. p. 7.
  5. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 32. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  6. ^ "photo caption". St. Petersburg Times. August 28, 1949. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
  7. ^ a b Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3.
  8. ^ Terrace, Vincent (1981), Radio's Golden Years: The Encyclopedia of Radio Programs 1930–1960. A.S. Barnes & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-498-02393-1. P. 248.
  9. ^ Alicoate, Jack, Ed. (1946). The 1946 Radio Annual. Radio Daily Corp. P. 662.
  10. ^ "Radio Today". Youngstown Vindicator (Ohio). 1957-01-13. p. C-20. Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  11. ^ "Those Whiting Girls" (PDF). Broadcasting. July 11, 1955. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  12. ^ Schudel, Matt. "Margaret Whiting, 1940s singing star and peerless interpreter of classic songs, dies at 86". Washington Post, January 13, 2011.
  13. ^ "The Museum of Broadcast Communications – Encyclopedia of Television". Retrieved 2015-08-27.
  14. ^ "Margaret Whiting, Fresh-Faced Singer of Jazz and Pop Standards, Dies at 86". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-08-28.

External links[edit]


  • Margaret Whiting at IMDb
  • Pop ranking from Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954, published in 1986 by Record Research Inc., Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
  • Contributing artists from booklet with the "My Ideal" four CD set by Jasmine Records in 2007; confirmed by Time-Life Music tape set "Late 40s" released in 1991, and by Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Some Internet sources give Tex Beneke's orchestra as accompanying Whiting's hit, "A Wonderful Guy", but Beneke claimed Claire Chatwin was the singer on his version: see his album, "Here's To The Ladies Who Sang With The Band" – the latter can also be found here