Skip to main content

Margaret Whiting collection

Identifier: M064

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Margaret Whiting collection, acquired over several years, consists of printed, audio and visual materials relating to the careers of Margaret Whiting and Johnny Mercer, as well as material on associated artists such as Johnny Rotella and Emma Kelly. The collection, circa 1924-2010 [bulk 1946-2007] documents extensively Whiting's career and professional activities, 1963-2007, and includes scrapbooks and files of newspaper clippings from the 1940s to 2000s. The manuscripts and printed materials in the collection include agreements, correspondence, programs, news clippings, sheet music, songbooks and production notes. Personal items include congratulatory telegrams, cards, and biographical-family history notes. Material related to Johnny Mercer in the collection includes draft lyrics, clippings, cards, printed material, and files related to Whiting's work with the Johnny Mercer Foundation. Photographs, videotaped interviews and performances, posters, CD's, and a video of The Nancy LaMott Story comprise the audiovisual portion of the collection.


  • Creation: 1924-2010
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1946 - 2007


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use. Access to original scrapbooks is restricted; digital versions accessible in Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Biography of Margaret Whiting

Margaret Whiting was born on July 22, 1924, in Detroit, Michigan. The daughter of songwriter Richard Whiting (1891-1938), she was one of the first artists to be engaged by Capitol Records, where she began recording in 1942. Johnny Mercer played a major role in the development of her career as a singer. In the early 1940s her hits included "That Old Black Magic" (with Freddie Slack), "Moonlight in Vermont" (with Billy Butterfield), and "It Might As Well Be Spring" (with Paul Weston). Between 1946 and 1954 Whiting had more than forty solo hit tunes for Capitol. After stints with Dot Records and Verve Records and a brief return to Capitol in the late fifties and early sixties, she recorded for the London label beginning in 1966. In later years she served as President of the Johnny Mercer Foundation and continued her work as a performer of Mercer songs in nightclub and musical theater performances. In the late 1990s she appeared on Broadway in Dream (1997), a Mercer revue conceived by her husband, Jack Wrangler, and in the PBS broadcast The Songs of Johnny Mercer: Too Marvelous for Words (1997). Margaret Whiting passed away of natural causes on January 10, 2011, at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, New Jersey, at age 86.


8.34 Linear Feet (in 13 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Margaret Whiting collection consists of printed, visual, and audio materials relating to the careers of singer Margaret Whiting and her friend, songwriter Johnny Mercer, as well as Johnny Rotella and Emma Kelly.

Organization of the Collection

The collection has been divided into four series; manuscript and printed materials, photographs, artifacts and scrapbooks.

The manuscript and printed materials document mostly Margaret's professional life on stage. There are a few personal items, such as congratulatory telegrams, cards and biographical-family history notes.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Margaret Whiting, 1988-2005. Subsequent additions donated by Debbi Whiting. Materials originally arranged as the "Dream collection" have been integrated into the Whiting collection as of August 2005. They were donated by Margaret Whiting via Susan L. Schulman, Julia Marks Young, and Nick Mamalakis.

Online Availability

The scrapbooks and most of the photographs from this collection have been digitized and are available in Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.

Related Archival Materials

Related Materials in Other Repositories

  1. Helen O' Connell papers, 1940-1979, J Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah.

Separated Materials:

During processing various materials were separated to other Popular Music and Culture Music Collections. Contact Special Collections for access. For sheet music, consult Special Collections or the University Library online catalog for access. The article on Johnny Mercer from the Woodberry Forest Magazine has been transferred to the Popular Music Collection Ephemera Files See finding aid for access. The issue of Sheet Music Magazine has been transferred to the Popular Music and Culture Periodicals Collection. See finding aid for access.

Popular Music Ephemera Collecion

  1. Article "The Making of Johnny Mercer" by Gene Lees, Woodberry Forest Magazine and Journal, vol. 38, no. 2, Winter 1999 [2 copies]

Popular Music Sheet Music Collection

  1. Photocopy of a published song titled "Baby-O," with music by Johnny Rotella and lyrics by Johnny Mercer, undated
  2. "My Future Just Passed," with music by Richard A. Whiting and lyrics by George Marion Jr., 1930.

Popular Music Periodicals Collection

  1. Sheet Music Magazine (vol. 11, no. 8), November 1987 [2 copies]

Processing Information

Processed by Christopher Ann Paton and Christine de Catanzaro, March 1995. Materials originally arranged as the "Dream collection" were integrated into the Whiting collection in August 2005 by Trish Raque Bogdan.

Margaret Whiting:
A Guide to Her Collection at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)