Sunday, January 30, 2011

Margaret is gone.

We have lost one of the best singers ever. Margaret Whiting, who, under the tutilage of songwriter Johnny Mercer, make her first recording with Capitol Records, "That Old Black Magic."  I knew Margaret for over 25 years ever since we first met at Westbury Music Fair on Long  Island. I was introduced to her by the one and only William B. Williams of WNEW, perhaps the most famous of all disc jockies in New York. Willie had carried the torch for the show for some thirty years. The date was November 5th, 1983. I was elected to help Margaret set up her entrance to the show from the top runway. Billy Eckstine and Dizzy Gillespie was there and Billy would be singing in this Make Believe Ballroom Showcase too, along with Maggie.  Willard Alexander, Big Band booker,  was there overseeing the Glenn Miller Orchestra with Larry O'Brien as the director. We had a wonderful time together. Margaret and I had to wait to go on, so we talked about her favorite recordings-my favorite was "A Tree in the Meadow." " Moonlight in Vermont" is Margaret's signature song.
"I grew up in a house where world-famous show business people were always present. People like Al Jolson, Johnny Mercer, Judy Garland, Eddie Cantor, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, and Jerome Kern were regular visitors. My dad was Richard Whiting, a songwriter who wrote " My Ideal,"  " Til We Meet Again," and many other tunes. I will miss the wonderful voice of Margaret Whiting. Last year I brought Margaret to one of the Al Jolson get-togethers in Oceanside where President of the Society Jan Hernsted presented her with a special award. I had to help Margaret up to the stage. Her legs were weak ever since she fell on the ice in New York a few years ago. she couldn't sing, so Tony B. (Babino) sang for and to her. Tony appreciates all the singers who came before him from Sinatra to Darin and even the beautiful
Goodbye, Margaret, and may the Lord take care of you from now on.