Saturday, January 10, 2015

Margaret Whiting Lives On!

Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
Dr. Seuss

I hope this finds you well. The theme of my blog today is family. If my father had lived, he would have been 80 this week. He passed on when he was 67.
I also found out yesterday in a chat with Debbi Bush Whiting, daughter of Margaret Whiting, that it was four years ago on January 10th that her mother had passed on.
It is hard to believe. When I first came into the cabaret community, Margaret was a very open welcoming presence.
There wasn't a time that I met her that she didn't treat me as if we had known each other all our lives.
Even after a stroke, she would light up a room when she entered.
I don't think there is a day in which I don't hear Margaret's voice on the radio. Thanks to the work of Debbi, she has devoted her life to preserving the legacy not only of Margaret, but also Margaret's father, song smith Richard Whiting. There are many things in the works that I am sworn to secrecy on! Let me just say this, Margaret Whiting lives on.
I am a great admirer of Debbi. How wonderful that she has taken on this labor of love celebrating the legacy of Margaret Whiting. We are ALL the better for it!
Debbi posted this on Facebook this AM:  January 10, 2015 marks the 4th year of my mom's passing.
January 10, 2015 marks the 4th year of my mom's passing.
The past year has been so incredible for preserving her memory. We have doubled Margaret's friends on Facebook, we have archived her sound recordings, we are introducing her to a younger generation of music lovers, there are awards given in her name and memory, and the most extraordinary event

was on June 23 when the MIM team and The Mabel Mercer Foundation produced a most loving celebration to Margaret for what would have been her 90th birthday.
I am so proud to announce that with the success of the Weill Recital Hall concert, we have decided to take Margaret on the road. We have downsized the show and it's available for bookings...SONGFULLY YOURS, MARGARET WHITING (Mom's favorite signature ) is our new title of show! Click on the link below for all the information. We are also being represented at APAP this coming week.
Thank you everyone for all your love and support!

I had a quick chat with Debbi this morning. She was on a train on her way into the city for the New York Sheet Music Society.
I have to get this finished within the hour so I can meet her there!
I asked about Margaret as a mom. Although Debbi gives Margaret an A+ for trying, she admits that her MOM wasn't really mom material, although she tried very hard. Her career really came first. For years, Debbi was kind of angry about that, but she totally understands it now. Look what happened! Her career is now Debbi's first concern. Things just happen for a reason. Debbi did have a wonderful father who took over raising Debbi. It all worked out. He was Lou Busch. He was Margaret's second husband. She was also his second wife.
Debbi realized that her mom was MARGARET WHITING at a very early age. They had done so many commercials and press events. Debbi knew there was something special going on with all the music.
Going to the recording studios as a very young child, she knew she was living an existence that was different from her friends that she played with during the day. She had play dates and when she went to their homes, the homes were so quiet that Debbi thought someone was sick. There was no music playing! In Debbi's home, music was a constant presence. Debbi now realizes that there are homes that don't play music.   
She knew there was something kind of "special" in her world.
There are two things that Debbi misses most about her mom, her stories  and especially her singing.
Debbi was mesmerized by her mom's voice.
There was a period in Debbi's life, when her mom sang, she would just fall apart. It would literally just tear her apart and she would weep and weep.
On New Year's Eve, Debbi was watching Julie and Julia.
Richard Skipper, Carol Woods, Peggy Eason, Debbi Whiting, producer Tanya Moberly and host Mark Janas at The Salon 1/11/15
She and her mom spent a lot of time together watching movies. It hit her that her mom was not physically with her. It happened after the Carnegie Hall concert in June to commemorate what would have been her mom's 90th birthday. She even got a little verklempt during this interview.
Although Debbi says she misses her mom's voice, it is a constant presence in our lives. 
I hear her voice every single day on Siriously Sinatra on Sirius Radio. Debbi loves it when her mom's voice pops up unexpectedly. She doesn't take anything for granted.
with Kathy Brown
Today on her way to the train station, she heard Peggy Lee's Ain't We Got Fun? That is Debbi's grandfather's composition. She took a picture of the radio in the car and sent it to Peggy Lee's granddaughter and said, "Look, Holly! Grandmother is singing Grandfather." Debbi still gets excited over those moments when mom is singing or grandfather's music is being played or anything having to do with her father or Allan Sherman.Allan Sherman and Debbi's grandfather collaborated together.
The one thing about Debbi's mom that most people may not know was that she was a deep thinker. 
She was very articulate. She didn't walk around with a book in her hand quoting from the great writers, but she did have this wonderful sense of wonderment and love of knowledge. She was a very sensitive woman, but didn't share that aspect of her. She kept her cards very close to her chest.
Aside from the fact that Margaret Whiting was Debbi's mom, preserving the legacy of her mom and family is tremendous therapy for Debbi.
Walking around for years as an only child from a divorced family with a kind of strange atmosphere, Debbi always tried to reconcile her reason for being here and HER purpose in life. Why was she born? As time went on, she realized that it was to carry on the torch and legacy and she is really enjoying it. She knows her mother so much better now than she ever did.
Debbi says there are not too many similarities between her and her mom. She is more like her Aunt Barbara. Everyone used to say, especially her mother, "Oh my God! You remind me of my sister", or Aunt Meg who was a vaudevillian comedienne. Debbi is much more the clown while her mother was much more reserved, but always with great sense of humor. Debbi does have a striking similarity to her mother. People look at her and immediately say, "I know you're Margaret's daughter." Once in a while, Debbi will have a "snobbery" moment and say, "I just did a Margaret!" There are certain traits one picks up when living with someone!
Margaret was not a big abuser with drugs and alcohol. As a matter of fact, Debbi can only remember her mom being a little "tipsy" once in her life!
with Tex Arnold and Celia Berk
As stated above, she loved to read. She loved magazines. She loved movies. She loved the theatre. She loved the arts. When Picasso exhibited in New York at MOMA, Debbi and Margaret stood in line for two hours to see the exhibit. She introduced Debbi to Frank Sinatra by taking her to her first Frank Sinatra concert in the sixties, when most girls her age were going to rock concerts. She wanted Debbi to experience the arts.  Debbi ended up loving him. There were certain things she HAD to see.
Debbi desires more than anything for her mom to be recognized as one of the top vocalists of her generation. Debbi wants her to "get in the sandbox with the kids" who are her peers and to be recognized. It is getting harder and harder as time goes on. There was a recent thread on Facebook
Lou Busch and daughter, Debbi
after someone posted "Who is Paul McCartney?" If it's getting to be that bad, the Great American Songbook is in a lot of trouble. Debbie wants people to say, "Yes! I know who Margaret Whiting is" well as Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, and others of that genre. Debbi has been working on this most of her life. When Margaret stopped performing, this is when it kicked into high gear.
Debbi is doing exactly what she SHOULD be doing at this point in her life. She has never been happier with herself and the decisions she has made. At 64, she considers herself a late bloomer. She is glad that she is on the track that she is now. She is doing what she was put here to do. Please visit the official Margaret Whiting Facebook page. Please hit the LIKE button and SHARE it.   

Thank God Debbi is doing the same with her mom and family legacy.

Thank to ALL mentioned in this blog for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,


Check out my site celebrating the first Fifty Years of Hello, Dolly!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!                

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
with Michael Feinstein and Marcy Heisler

Richard Skipper Celebrates at The Salon! TOMORROW NIGHT! Celebrating Broadsway and the film Life Inside Out on January 11th
Please join Us on January 11th if you are available!

Richard Skipper Celebrates at The Salon! Celebrating Broadsway and the film Life Inside Out on January 11th
I would love for YOU to help me kick start 2015 with this show that I am very excited about.
I co-hosted The Salon on January 5th of this year. This is my comeback! I cannot wait to experience it again!
The Salon (see their website –… Multi Award winning weekly open mic.
This edition will also feature Broadsway (, I have also asked Stephen Sorrentino to drop in to preview a number from his upcoming show at The Iridium.

The Theme for the night is Life Inside Out to celebrate the New York Premier of this delightful film that I encourage all to see.
There are a lot more surprises in store!

This all takes place on the 11th of January.
If you wish to entertain yourself, sign up starts at 6:15 PM

I am also taking requests! What would YOU like to hear ME sing?
7-10:30 PM
Etcetera, Etcetera
252 West 44th Street

Tickets are $10 cash at the door, $15 food or drink minimum

Would LOVE to see you!
Let’s toast the past year and the promise of the next.

With grateful XOXOXs for your support,
Richard 845-365-0720
Cost: Tickets are $10 cash at the door, $15 food drink minimum
IF you like this blog, please leave a comment and share on Twitter and Facebook

A SWINGING BIRDLAND CHRISTMAS Klea Blackhurst Jim Caruso and Billy Stritch ,Marcy Heisler and Monica Corton.
Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,

1 comment:

  1. Great article, Richard. Thank you for keeping the torch and stories alive. I thoroughly enjoyed this!