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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 fine Albums from Maggie..., 24 Jan 2013
C. FULLER (Brixham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Margaret After Midnight (Audio CD)
The bulk of these recordings come from the Dot and MGM labels plus some bonus tracks. Flare have provided a lovely compilation with a country & western start followed by song book numbers followed by some show related songs. 1958 to early 1960s. Maggie could always put across a vocal and interpretation is her strong point. Flare reissue public domain material and all their CDs are nicely packaged and sell for a very fair price. These recordings will be a good addition to the racks. Let us hope Flare will do well with this CD and issue more of Margaret Whiting's in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two magnificent albums, 4 April 2014
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Margaret After Midnight (Audio CD)
The first album here, simply titled Margaret, is one I had hoped to see released on CD in its entirety ever since I started taking her music about 10 or 15 years ago. Many of the tracks (all but the first two) can be found on There Goes That Song Again: The Songbook And The Legacy - 4CD SET, but in no particular order. Much as I love that box and its companion My Ideal: The Definitive Collection - 4CD SET, I still wanted the "Margaret" album in its entirety, and now I do.

This album features Maggie's covers of country songs, half of them written or co-written by Hank Williams. Two others (Anytime, Bouquet of roses) were originally hits for Eddy Arnold. Three other songs (I love you because, Tennessee waltz, Crying in the chapel) are very famous, ad not just to country music fans. Blues stay away from me (a Delmore brothers song) is less well known than the others, but still a great song. The orchestral backing is sympathetic ad the result is that the album is ot that far removed from a bona-fide country album. It's certainly a lot closer to traditional country that most modern so-called country albums.

The second album here, Past midnight, is very different, being a jazz-pop album. It is also very enjoyable but in a very different way. The track listing as printed is not consistent with the actual running order; tracks 17 and 18 are listed the wrong way round, but that's a minor detail. There are some familiar standards here, but also some less obvious songs. One that may be new to me is Ballad of the sad young men, while there are others that may also be new to me.

The four bonus tracks are all currently available elsewhere, including two tracks from Maggie's outstanding Jerome Kern tribute, which I bought and reviewed some years ago, ad which has since been re-issued.

While I particularly wanted the first album here, I expected that the second album would also be of a high quality ad so it proved. If you're not already into Maggie's music, this is probably not the place to begin, but this would be a great addition to a collection for fans of Maggie's music. I'd recommend either a hits collection or the Jerome Kern tribute as a starter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A. POLLOCK (PLYMOUTH, DEVON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Margaret After Midnight (Audio CD)
Margaret Whiting (1924-2011) enjoyed a long career with her reputation as a classy vocalist, earned during the '40's and `50's, ensuring ongoing longevity during the decades that followed. Mainly popular in the USA, her fame may not have rated as highly as that total popularity bestowed Ella, Peggy, Doris etc. - but her innate ability to handle all song genres not only covered the Great American Songbook but included show and movie songs, country ballads, novelty pop ditties and occasionally even kids nursery rhymes set to music. Her all-round versatility helped establish the newly-launched Capitol label in 1943 where she bloomed until 1957 before seeking pastures new.

This release combines two albums. MARGARET (1958), her second release for the Dot label, is an enjoyable cross-over collection of country and western ditties - predominately written by Hank Williams - and very appropriate, as she had previously dabbled with such material as a solo or when teamed with Jimmy Wakely for some catchy country duets. Orchestrally supervised by Milt Rogers in the fashion of Billy Vaughn, the beat is often mid-contemporary with occasional chorus but I LOVE YOU BECAUSE, THE TENNESSEE WALTZ, COLD COLD HEART, YOUR CHEATIN' HEART and HALF AS MUCH had already crossed over to the repertoire of Tony Bennett, Eddie Fisher, Rosemary Clooney and other singers so Margaret offers nothing new. However, she is well on form and shows great understanding of the genre with the lesser-known MANSION ON THE HILL and BLUES STAY AWAY FROM ME outstanding choices.

By 1961, Margaret had moved over to MGM/Verve and the more challenging PAST MIDNIGHT is loaded with standards, with BUT NOT FOR ME, MEAN TO ME, JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS and THEY CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY amongst the tracks. However, the Fran Landesman/Tommy J. Wolf Jr. song THE BALLAD OF THE SAD YOUNG MEN, introduced in the 1959 Broadway musical THE NERVOUS SET, best conveys the late-night mood of the album's premise, with the singer's deep reflection of the lyrics beautifully stated and Russ Garcia's varied orchestral underpinning a great asset throughout.

Four bonus tracks - THE THREE BELLS, THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT, IF EVER I WOULD LEAVE YOU and THE TOUCH OF YOUR HAND - emanate from the same early Sixties period and overall this collection is a fine tribute to Margaret's vocal expertise.
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