The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Margaret Whiting’ Category

Review: Margaret Whiting, “The Wheel of Hurt” and “Maggie Isn’t Margaret Anymore/Pop Country”

with 2 comments

Margaret Whiting - Wheel of HurtWhen Margaret Whiting scored a No. 26 Pop/No. 1 Easy Listening hit with 1966’s “The Wheel of Hurt,” she was surrounded by the aura of a comeback.  But the veteran songstress was only in her early forties.  Three albums and a clutch of singles recorded for London Records between 1966 and 1970 proved that Whiting was most definitely still a contender.  Now, the recordings from Whiting’s London period have finally arrived on CD, filling in a major gap in the Margaret Whiting discography.  Real Gone Music has unveiled two discs of prime Maggie: 1966’s The Wheel of Hurt, plus bonus singles (RGM-0136), and a two-fer of Maggie Isn’t Margaret Anymore (1967) and Pop Country (1968) plus outtakes (RGM-0137).  Both discs make for exciting discoveries and should please any fan or collector craving more on CD from this often-overlooked voice.

The daughter of songwriter Richard Whiting (“Too Marvelous for Words,” “Hooray for Hollywood”) and a protégée of Johnny Mercer, Margaret Whiting was one of the first artists signed to Mercer’s fledgling Capitol label, where she remained for nearly 15 years before decamping for Dot and later, Verve/MGM.  She had been absent from the studio for a few years when Arnold Goland, one of the early architects of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, approached her.  Goland, an orchestrator, producer, composer and conductor, felt he had the stuff to bring Whiting’s timeless sound into the present day.  Although she made her name on the songs that built The Great American Songbook, Whiting had, in fact, successfully championed country music via her duets with Jimmy Wakely and even a hit recording of Hank Williams’ “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You).”  And so Goland, acting as arranger and conductor, looked to country-pop to garner the versatile vocalist a return to the charts.

Hit the jump for a journey through both releases! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 25, 2013 at 12:41

Posted in Margaret Whiting, News, Reissues, Reviews

Tagged with

Release Round-Up: Week of April 2

leave a comment »

Alexander O'Neal vinylThe S.O.S. Band / Cherrelle / Alexander O’Neal, “Tabu Reborn” Vinyl Editions (Wave 1) (Tabu/Edsel)

The start of a lengthy reissue campaign from Demon Music Group, these are 180-gram vinyl reissues of The S.O.S. Band’s III (1982), Cherrelle’s 1984 debut Fragile, and Alexander O’Neal’s self-titled debut from 1985. Expanded editions of these albums come out on CD next week, followed by a great many more waves of product throughout 2013 and into 2014!

S.O.S. Band: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Cherrelle: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Alexander O’Neal: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Martha and The Vandellas Singles CollectionThe Four Tops / Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, 50th Anniversary: The Singles Collections (Hip-O Select/Motown)

Two new lavish sets collect all the single sides worldwide by two of Motown’s most underrated vocal groups – and in the case of Martha & The Vandellas, there’s a bonus disc of unreleased “lost and found” content to enjoy, too!

Four Tops: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mad Season - AboveMad Season, Above: Deluxe Edition (Columbia/Legacy)

This short-lived grunge supergroup, featuring Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley and members of Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees, only put out one record, but it’s been expanded as a 2CD/1DVD set featuring unreleased tracks (with vocals by Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan) and live audiovisual content. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Born Under a Bad SignAlbert King, Born Under a Bad Sign: Expanded Edition (Stax/Concord)

One of the Memphis’ label’s most celebrated blues albums is remastered and expanded with five unreleased alternate takes! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

David Gates - Early YearsDavid Gates, The Early Years: The Early Songwriting Genius of David Gates (Rare Rockin’)

Before leading Bread, Gates was a talented singer-songwriter whose early works were covered by a myriad of vocalists – many of which are making their CD debuts on this compilation. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Simple Minds CelebrateSimple Minds, Celebrate: The Greatest Hits (Virgin/EMI)

As the ’80s hitmakers embark on a new tour, this new hits compilation – available in double and triple-disc variants – was made available in the U.K. last week. (A U.S. release is reportedly slated for later this spring.)

2CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
3CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

RKivesRilo Kiley, RKives (Little Record Company)

A collection of rare and unreleased material from the now-defunct L.A. band.

Margaret Whiting - Wheel of HurtChet Atkins with The Boston Pops, The Pops Goes Country/The Pops Goes West / The Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 24: Cow Palace, Daly City, CA – 3/23/1974 / Tom Jans, Take Heart/Tom Jans / Barbara & Ernie, Prelude To… / Steve Lawrence, Winners!/On a Clear Day / Don Nix, Living by the Days / Eydie Gorme & The Trio Los Panchos, Amor/More Amor / Margaret Whiting, The Wheel of Hurt: Deluxe Edition Maggie Isn’t Margaret Anymore/Pop Country / Alfred Newman, The Diary of Anne Frank: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The latest wares from Real Gone: plenty of two-fers, a rare Alfred Newman soundtrack, a new Dead reissue and expanded works from country-pop singer Margaret Whiting.

CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Mills MercilessJerry Butler, Love’s on the Mend/Suite for the Single Girl / Stephanie Mills, Merciless: Expanded Edition / Donna Washington, Going for the Glow: Expanded Edition / Nancy Wilson, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You/Now I’m a Woman (SoulMusic)

A slew of great titles from SoulMusic are out this week, including a Stephanie Mills album produced by the late Phil Ramone. Check out the above post for details.

Jerry Butler: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Stephanie Mills: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Donna Washington: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Nancy Wilson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Anita WardCaston and Majors, Caston and Majors / Fern Kinney, Groove Me / Arthur Prysock, All My Life / Anita Ward, Songs of Love (Big Break)

And the latest expanded titles from Big Break include some Motown and T.K. rarities, including Anita Ward’s megahit “Ring My Bell.”

Caston and Majors: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Fern Kinney: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Arthur Prysock: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Anita Ward: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Judy Garland CreationsJudy Garland, Creations 1929-1962 (JSP)

A four-disc U.K.-only compilation of “the songs that Judy Garland sang first.” (Amazon U.K.)  U.S. customers may order at CD Universe or Collectors’ Choice Music for April 9 release.

eagles_boxEagles, The Studio Albums 1972-1979 (Elektra/Rhino)

Every one of the California hitmakers’ original studio albums, in a handy slipcase. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

No April Fool: Real Gone Announces Packed Line-Up For Month with Grateful Dead, Whiting, Jans, Atkins, More

with 2 comments

Margaret Whiting - Wheel of Hurt

April is known for showers, so why shouldn’t Real Gone Music shower collectors with a big line-up encompassing not just some super-rare rock and soul, but also country, film soundtracks, pop vocals and even crossover classical?  Nine releases, all due on April 2, run the gamut for this busy label.

Don NixOn the rock front, fans will likely snap up the first-time domestic CD release of the 1971 solo album by Memphis music legend Don Nix.  Featuring the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, Living by the Days was originally released on the Elektra label.  Nix, who began his career playing saxophone with the Mar-Keys, went on to play a major role behind the scenes at Stax while also finding time to work with a “Who’s Who” including Leon Russell, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Isaac Hayes. For Living by the Days, the composer/arranger/musician was joined by Donald “Duck” Dunn, Roger Hawkins and Barry Beckett.  Real Gone’s reissue of this lost southern soul classic, with flourishes of both folk and gospel, recreates the original release’s gatefold artwork and adds new notes by music historian Colin Escott.

Barbara and Ernie - Prelude ToFrom the same year, Real Gone is reissuing the funk-soul-rock-folk stew Barbara & Ernie: Prelude To… This unusual LP, first issued on Cotillion, paired guitarist Ernie Calabria and soul singer Barbara Massey.  Calabria had played on sessions for Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Anita Carter, while Massey had shared the microphone with Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and Cat Stevens.  Real Gone describes this lost album as a “funky, folky, psychedelic soul gem graced with a stellar list of sidemen (e.g. Joe Beck and Keith Jarrett) that vanished without a trace in the more stratified world of early ’70s music retail.”  Calabria and Massey’s talents were enhanced by the orchestrations of Brazil’s Eumir Deodato, whose credits prior to his own solo breakthrough included arrangements for Wes Montgomery, Astrud Gilberto and Frank Sinatra.  The repertoire on Prelude consists of originals plus a cover of the Great Society/Jefferson Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.”  Real Gone’s release marks its first legitimate release on CD, with liner notes written by Pat Thomas.

After the jump: Tom Jans, Grateful Dead, Margaret Whiting and more!  Plus: pre-order links to all titles! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

February 21, 2013 at 09:53

Back Tracks, In Memoriam: Margaret Whiting (1924-2011)

with one comment

In 1997, a musical revue came and went at Broadway’s Royale Theatre. The revue, Dream, was a mostly unexceptional journey through the music and lyrics of the legendary Johnny Mercer. Why the “mostly,” then? Dream had one very exceptional living link to Mercer, and that was the resplendent Margaret Whiting, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 86 in Englewood, New Jersey.

When Mercer (along with Buddy DeSylva and Glenn Wallichs) started Capitol Records in 1942, one of the first artists he signed was 18-year old Margaret, daughter of composer Richard (“Too Marvelous for Words,” “Ain’t We Got Fun,” “Hooray for Hollywood”) Whiting. Mercer, a frequent co-writer of Richard’s, had known Margaret since she was a child, and formed a lasting friendship and mentorship with her. He gifted the Freddie Slack Orchestra with “That Old Black Magic” (a Mercer/Harold Arlen composition), with Margaret as featured vocalist. Their rendition on Capitol 126 hit the Top Ten in 1943, facing stiff competition from the Glenn Miller Orchestra’s recording. The next year, Whiting was one of the very first artists to record “Moonlight in Vermont,” and she went on to help popularize such songs as “It Might As Well Be Spring” (from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1945 film musical State Fair) and in a duet with Mercer himself, Frank Loesser’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (first heard in 1949’s Neptune’s Daughter). Whiting remained with Capitol until switching to Dot in 1957 and then to Verve in 1960. She returned to Capitol for a brief stint and then finished out the decade on London Records, having her last hit single with “The Wheel of Hurt,” which reached No. 1 on the Easy Listening chart in the rapidly-changing music world of 1966. Whiting, known for her clear, smooth voice and youthful, somewhat innocent look, persevered. She reinvented herself as a premier cabaret artist and also acted in musicals, in addition to making periodic return visits to the recording studio.

Where to begin exploring the great lady’s catalogue? Many of the best Whiting anthologies are no longer available, and of them, many cover the same era. Hit the jump for The Second Disc’s tribute and guide, in modified Back Tracks style, to the one and only Margaret Whiting. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 12, 2011 at 11:15