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Richard A. Whiting collection

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Richard A. Whiting collection

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Richard A. Whiting: M209

A Guide to His Collection at Georgia State University Library

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia, 30303

February 2007

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2016-10-06T11:45-0400
Language: English

Repository: Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
creatorWhiting, Richard A., 1891-1938
Title: Richard A. Whiting collection
Dates: 1891-2006 (Bulk 1950-2006)
Quantity: 1.63 Linear feet (in 3 boxes)
Abstract:Richard A. Whiting was a prominent music composer for Hollywood and Broadway productions from the 1920s-1930s. The Richard A. Whiting Collection, 1896-2006, contains files related to Whiting's life and career as a musical composer including correspondence, photographs, periodicals and sheet music.
Identification: M209

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Richard A. Whiting Collection, 1896-2006, contains files related to Whiting's life and career as a musical composer. The bulk of the collection dates from 1950-2006 and was assembled by his widow and daughters. The collection contains the "Outline of the Whiting family" written by Eleanor Whiting, which provides a personal account of Richard Whiting's life and career. Correspondence and documents regarding the legal arrangements of PaxWin Corporation, the entity established between Whiting's widow, daughters and publisher George Paxton, are notable to the Collection. The Collection also contains an accumulation of articles, essays and book chapters showing Whiting's influence on and contributions to the early American pop music scene. Whiting family photos showing family homes, childhood photos and Whiting with colleagues constitute a significant portion of the collection.

Files are arranged alphabetically by folder title. Detailed information on material in this collection was provided by the donor. This information has been photocopied and placed in the beginning of relevant folders. All such has information has also been collected and filed together in the folder marked "Yellow Slips."

Biography of Richard A. Whiting

Richard A. Whiting was a prominent music composer for Hollywood and Broadway productions from the 1920s-1930s. Whiting was born in Peoria, Illinois in 1891. During his childhood, Whiting's parents moved to Los Angeles, California. Whiting became a skilled pianist at a young age and later toured the country with Marshall Neilan in a vaudeville act. After the vaudeville act disbanded, Whiting worked for a short time in the Detroit office of music publisher Jerome Remick but left this job to concentrate on writing music. Whiting's first hit "It's Tulip Time in Holland" marked the beginning of his progressive climb in the popular music industry where hardly a year passed without at least two Whiting-composed song successes. In 1918, Whiting won a war-time song contest with "Till We Meet Again," (Ray Egan, lyricist) which subsequently sold six million copies and became very popular among soldiers. Whiting married Eleanore Youngblood in 1923. The couple had two daughters, pop vocalist Margaret Whiting and singer/actress Barbara Whiting.

Over his career on Broadway and in Hollywood, Whiting collaborated with many of the music industry's most celebrated lyricists including Gus Kahn, Ray Egan, Buddy DeSylva, Leo Robin, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Johnny Mercer. He wrote for the Broadway musicals Toot Sweet (1919) and Take a Chance (1932). In Hollywood, Whiting produced over 50 hits in less than a decade. His best known works include: "Ain't We Got Fun? "(1921, lyrics by Ray Egan/Gus Khan ), "She's Funny That Way" (1928, lyrics by Neil Moret), "Beyond the Blue Horizon" (1930, lyrics by W. Franke Harling/Leo Robin), "One Hour with You" (1932, lyrics by Leo Robin), "On the Good Ship Lollipop" (1934, lyrics by Sidney Clare), "Too Marvelous for Words" (1937, lyrics by Johnny Mercer) and "Hooray for Hollywood" (1938, lyrics by Johnny Mercer). Whiting passed away on February 10, 1938 in Beverly Hills, California at the age of 46.

Index Terms

Whiting, Margaret, 1924-2011
Whiting, Richard A., 1891-1938
Popular music
Popular music in motion pictures
Detroit (Mich.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
magazines (periodicals)
sheet music


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], Richard A. Whiting collection, M209, Popular Music and Culture Collection. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Margaret Whiting, 2006.

Processing Information

Processed by Amanda Brown, February 2007. Additions added by Hilary Morrish, Spring 2016. Electronic finding aid edited by Harold Victor Hansen, Jr.

Related Material

Related Materials in This Repository
Johnny Mercer papers, 1885-1981 (M001)
Johnny and Ginger Mercer papers, 1925-circa 1992 (M002)
Johnny Mercer Oral History Project, 1970; 1995-1998; 2001-2002
Margaret Whiting collection, circa 1950s-2002; undated (M064)

Separated Material

During processing, sheet music was separated to the Popular Music Sheet Music Collection. Please see the sheet music database or consult Special Collections for more information on access.

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