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Jazz - Released January 1, 1999 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Executive producer Gordon Anderson took a simple approach to constructing this two-disc compilation, which mail-order company Collectors' Choice Music licensed from Capitol Records. Referring to chart researcher Joel Whitburn's reference books, especially Pop Memories 1890-1954, Anderson simply chose all 42 songs that were pop hits for Margaret Whiting -- along with three of the ones she scored earlier as the vocalist for big bands -- on Capitol between 1943 and 1956, her tenure with the label, and sequenced them chronologically by recording date. (The only exception is "But Beautiful," presented in what seems to be a previously unreleased alternate take, though "Broken Down Merry-Go-Round" contains the irritating false start also found on Whiting's Capitol Collector's Series compilation.) A few of Whiting's big-band hits are missing, as is one of her country chart duets with Jimmy Wakely, but the album largely lives up to its title, and it is the most comprehensive retrospective on Whiting ever assembled. It traces her career from teenage band singer to one of the most successful vocalists of the late '40s to a popular singer of novelty and country-oriented material. That may not be the whole story on Whiting, who was topping the easy-listening charts a decade after the last song on this album was recorded, and who was still performing and recording more than three decades after that, but it effectively covers her period of greatest popularity, surrounding her biggest hits -- "Now Is the Hour (Maori Farewell Song)," "A Tree in the Meadow," "Far Away Places," "Baby, It's Cold Outside," and "Slipping Around" -- with her many other hits of the same era. ~ William Ruhlmann

Jazz - Released January 1, 1960 | Verve


Country - Released January 22, 2016 | Shami Media Group 3


Pop - Released January 1, 1990 | Capitol Records

Margaret Whiting's entry in the Capitol Collectors Series was the place to go for her Capitol-era hits until it was deleted and replaced with the two-disc set The Complete Capitol Hits of Margaret Whiting. The latter collection is definitive but also more expensive, and contains more material than some buyers may desire. For that reason, the Capitol Collectors Series may be the preferred anthology for casual fans since it offers a handy distillation of her prime recordings. For collectors, the Capitol Collectors Series is noteworthy for two tracks that do not appear on the more recent collection: "The Party's Over," a recording previously unissued in the U.S. that originally appeared as the B-side of a Canadian single, and a humorous vintage radio advertisement for "Good Morning Mister Echo." ~ Greg Adams

Jazz - Released January 1, 1958 | GRP

You would never guess from looking at the album cover, but Margaret is Margaret Whiting's country album, sort of. After a long hit-making career with Capitol Records, Whiting moved to Dot and recorded Margaret as her second album for the label. While it is true that the 12 songs are well-known country hits, Whiting's approach is pure pop, and, apart from the listener's familiarity with the material, nothing in the production betrays the origins of the songs. Rosemary Clooney's recording of "Half As Much" is an obvious model, a supposition supported by Whiting's own rendition of the song. Hank Williams and Eddy Arnold are the two primary song sources, with over half the album consisting of songs written by or associated with Williams. All of the songs had previously been made into pop hits by various artists, so Whiting was breaking no new ground with her interpretations. Despite her many duets with singing cowboy Jimmy Wakely during her Capitol years, Whiting did not record many country songs, so Margaret is an interesting oddity but offers no surprises. ~ Greg Adams

Pop - Released January 1, 2012 | Capitol Records


Comedy/Other - Released January 1, 1955 | Capitol Records

This album is another in the Capitol Records Great Ladies of Song series, which so far has produced compilations by such artists as Jo Stafford, Peggy Lee, Keely Smith and Kay Starr, among others. Maggie Whiting was one of the label's brightest pop stars of the 1940s and '50s, when Capitol had more top-flight singers, male and female, in its stable than any other company. It is these years from which this material comes. Most of the tunes are slow ballads on which Whiting is accompanied by large, string-laden orchestras, almost all conducted by Frank DeVol. Strings notwithstanding, there are many memorable, enjoyable performances here. "He's Funny That Way" is a 1947 recording honoring her father, Richard Whiting, who penned the tune with Neil Moret. On "If I Had You," recorded in 1946, Whiting is backed by Paul Weston. "But Beautiful" reached #21 on the pop chart in 1948, and "My Foolish Heart" #17 in 1950. Although not a jazz singer, she often worked with jazz musicians; two of the cuts, "But Not for Me" and "Someone to Watch Over Me," feature the trumpet of Billy Butterfield. On "I Could Write a Book," Whiting is backed by her then-husband Lou Busch, who was better known as Joe "Fingers" Carr. The languorous mood is interrupted from time to time by a swinger. One of the most notable is "Nobody But You," where Whiting is joined by the Crew Chiefs, remembered for their work with Glenn Miller. As a bonus, Capitol has included two previously unreleased items, "I Get a Kick out of You" and a swinging 1955 rendition of "Back in Your Own Backyard." This album is an agreeable return of those halcyon days of the 1950s when good singers like Whiting filled the landscape before the rock invasion. Like many of her contemporaries, she was often required to sing some rather awful stuff. Fortunately, this album sticks with classic standards from the Great American Songbook, which Whiting delivers with her clear, very pleasant voice. ~ Dave Nathan

Pop - Released November 23, 2018 | Novoson SL


Pop - Released January 1, 1954 | Capitol Records

Love Songs by Margaret Whiting is an early Capitol album that collects an assortment of hits and non-hits going all the way back to her mid-'40s days with Billy Butterfield. Paul Weston and Frank DeVol also take turns conducting the various orchestras that support Whiting and her bell-clear vocals, which eschew flash and gimmicks for sensitive interpretation. Oddly, "Moonlight in Vermont" is the 1945 version she recorded with Butterfield, not the remake that became a hit the year this album was released. Love Songs by Margaret Whiting also contains "My Ideal," one of her two hits with Butterfield that were inexplicably left off her Complete Capitol Hits two-CD anthology. "A Tree in the Meadow" was a chart-topper in 1948 and "Come Rain or Come Shine" was a lesser hit in 1946, but the remaining love songs are non-hits and flip sides, most if not all of which were previously released on singles. ~ Greg Adams