September 23, 2006

Michigan's Musical Connection: Margaret Whiting's Saturday....the weekend. This week I am turning the spotlight on one of the most talented singers from the 40's & 50's era primarily. The featured artist is Margaret Whiting. Ms. Whiting comes from a family background in music and she became an iconic singer. I think she has one of the most wonderful voices I have ever heard. Be sure to check out the YouTube video at the end of the post and see if you don't agree.

Margaret Whiting (born July 22, 1924) was a traditional pop music singer in the 1940s and 1950s.

Her musical talent may have been inherited; her father Richard Whiting, was a famous composer of popular songs. She also had an aunt, Margaret Young, who was also a singer and popular recording artist in the 1920s. In her childhood her singing ability was already noticed, and at the age of only seven years she sang for Johnny Mercer, for whom her father worked. In 1942, Mercer started Capitol Records with two partners, and signed her as one of their earliest recording artists.

Songbirds -
Throughout the long dark days of the Great American Songbook blackout, circa 1960-1980, it mostly fell upon Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald (with her Verve songbook series) to keep tradition alive. One of the pioneers of the LP songbook form, albeit in limited form in 1950, was Margaret Whiting with her Rodgers and Hart 10" LP tribute on Capitol. This Whiting Sings Kern songbook (originally a 2-LP collection, now available on one CD) represents one of only four trips that she made to the recording studio throughout the 1960s. Along with Jo Stafford, Doris Day, Rosemary Clooney, and Peggy Lee, Whiting had been one of most important pop singers of the 1940s and 1950s. This slackening off in studio activity was a stunning turn of events for a singer who, for more than two decades, had been a bellwether of good, no frills, straight-ahead pop singing.

BrainyQuote -
"I can't think of any other singer who grew up in a household where you would go into your father's studio and have someone like Arthur Schwartz working there. Imagine growing up and hearing Harold Arlen playing piano and singing his songs."
and this ....
"We teach young kids from 8 to 14 or 15 about their musical heritage through great songs written by American songwriters. We don't do too many modern composers, although we include songs from Billy Joel and other writers like him."
- Margaret Whiting

YouTube -



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