Jan 2011 update:
Margaret Whiting passed away on Jan 10, 2011. It is sad, of course, but what a legacy she left us with, including the song in the video below written by Francesca Blumenthal in 1986. Rest in peace, Margaret.
At this time in 2009, I started building this blog as part of my year to learn about social media. In 2010, I am learning about multi-media and this is my first video. I should point out that like my study of social media, it’s about knowing its capabilities and potential more than the technical stuff, though a lot can be learned by doing hands-on technical stuff. It’s too bad all too many “boss” types in the world never really learn the details of things they “manage” from doing to appreciate the challenges and power of those things.
I used Windows Movie Maker to make this video, with its rather limited capabilities and features. I know it’s not a great video editing program, but I’ll get around to one soon enough. I created the images from Photoshop actions I made to save a lot of time and repetitive effort.
The idea for this video first came to me in the middle of 2009 when I wanted to social media share the 1986 song The Lies of Handsome Men, written by Francesca Blumenthal, sung by 1940s crooner Margaret Whiting in 1990 when she was 66! Thank you to Francesca for correcting my mistake in a comment below. What a beautiful song this is and I hope you’ve got more such songs in your repertoire, past and future!
In my opinion, Margaret’s version is the definitive version of the song. I haven’t heard anybody else sing it like it, and I love it when I find definitive versions of songs that just blow the rest of the versions away. What made the difference for me, as I later found out through research, was that Margaret had been involved in acting and she used those acting skills to put just a little more intonation and feeling into the song. I listened and I really believed she meant everything she said. Mind you, the way she ended up with a former gay porn star 20 years her junior while in her 50s for 33 years of her life (see notes near the end of the notes before the video), she’s a mighty fine actress to have convinced me she believed those lies when she obviously brushed them aside!
Usually, I can find what I want in music online on YouTube. However, there was no version of this song I could find anywhere to share so I penned it down as an idea for a video in 2010 when I would be focusing on learning multi-media. I thought of it as a simple project, to create a slide show video where the images would be male movie stars and musicians of an era past, in black and white.
Images were mostly from an amazing site of black and white movie portraits called Dr Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans. Portraits were so beautiful and noble back in those days! Order of the portrait tied the images to something in the lyrics as much as possible, albeit sometimes rather vague and sometimes without connection because it isn’t easy to have a limited collection to suit any old set of lyrics, you know! Names of subjects are at the bottom of this post.
I wanted to use past celebrities’ B&W portraits because they were more true to the song’s age and feel, as well as avoid all the people today created out of hype with faults yet to be found. The stars in the past have had their good and bad days and have their legacies pretty much written so they are more “timeless” since public opinion won’t likely change much on them any more.
Had I thought of this video in December, I might have gone after the images of the women of Tiger Woods. Hahaha!
But I can still dedicate it to them, can I not?
Alas, they ain’t got nothing on Margaret! On her fourth marriage, Margaret married a gay porn star 20 years her junior in the late Jack Wrangler (neé John Stillman), who eventually also came to do straight porn.
Ooops. Bad pun intended! 😉
According to Jack, this was how they met.
In 1976, Jack Wrangler met celebrated 1940s pop singer and film actress Margaret Whiting when she attended one of his one-man erotic shows in New York. As he later recalled, “I was with my manager when I looked over at Margaret, who was surrounded by five guys at a booth. ‘There she was with the hair, the furs and the big gestures. I thought, ‘Boy, now that’s New York! That’s glamour!’ I had to meet her.” A relationship developed. He was 33; she was 55. When Wrangler confided to Whiting that he was gay, her response was “only around the edges, dear.” The couple has never married. As Whiting told People magazine in 1987, “There’s no point in us getting married. We’re not having kids.”
Remember, Margaret Whiting made her debut as a crooner in the 1940s! Those women of Tiger Woods ain’t got nothin’ on her!
Margaret is still alive so far as I know. Jack passed away in April 2009 from emphysema after 40 years of smoking. Their picture together is the slide in the video.
Seems Margaret didn’t believe in the lies of handsome men if she convinced Jack to be her mate despite his openly gay declaration. 😉
Here is the video below. Please give constructive criticisms if you can afford the time. Thank you.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.1
I believe in star signs
And I believe in film romances
I believe in in fantasy
And I believe with just one glance he’s
Crazy for my eyes
‘Cause I believe the lies
Of handsome men
I believe in witchcraft
And I believe in Cinderella
I believe in gypsies
And I believe I cast a spell that
Sends him to the skies
‘Cause I believe the lies
Of handsome men
Somewhere in a corner of my mind
I’m not a fool, completely blind
But even though he’s hooked me on his line
I find the pleasure has been mine
I believe in love songs,
They seem to know just what I’m feeling
I believe in Prince Charming
I never guess he’s double dealing
How my spirits rise
Believing in the lies
Of handsome men
Sometimes in a dark and quiet place
The truth and I meet face to face
And even if his Highness disappears
I keep some lovely souvenirs
So I believe in heroes
And I expect that happy ending
Wishing on some rainbow
I pretend he’s not pretending
Someday I’ll get wise
But right now I need the lies
Of handsome men
(in order of appearance, group by song verses)
Bing Crosby, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Duke Ellington, Paul Newman, Basil Rathbone, Tony Curtis
Lex Barker, Gene Kelly, Rudolph Valentino, Cary Grant, Louis Armstrong, Robert Young, Elvis Presley
Rock Hudson, Humphrey Bogart, Ray Charles, Henry Fonda, Warner Baxter, John Wayne
Frank Sinatra, Gary Cooper, Rudolph Valentino, Rudolph and wife Natacha Rambova, Clark Gable, John Garrick, Ronald Reagan
Ralph Bellamy, Robert Montgomery, Buster Crabbe
Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Vincent Price, Sidney Poitier, Laurence Olivier, Johnny Mack Brown, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains
Muhammad Ali, Gene Autry, Fred Astaire, Joel McCrea, Vic Damone, Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood
Jack Wrangler and Margaret Whiting
10 thoughts on “My Video for The Lies of Handsome Men, sung by Margaret Whiting”
Good job! I enjoyed seeing the stars of yesteryear, and liked how you phased them onto the screen. Take care, A.
Thanks, A. Just starting out. 🙂
Margaret Whiting — the original cougar. Thanks for writing about her back story.
The original cougar? 🙂
Haven’t quite heard it put like that, but that’s pretty funny! Thanks for sharing.
Your article on Margaret Whiting incorrectly says my song LIES OF HANDSOME MEN was written in the 1940’s. I wrote it in 1985. Please correct that. It also would be nice to credit the songwriter on such showings.
Thank you. Francesca Blumenthal
I sincerely apologize for the misinformation regarding the source of this song being from the 1940s. I am not sure where I got that misinformation, but I assure you it was an honest mistake that I had seen it somewhere. I don’t go around writing stuff I don’t know as if I did know. I have corrected it on this site, the YouTube site where I had left the original video and my VodPod video collection. They are the only places I had the info where I had put it up, and the only place where I could control it.
Thank you for correcting me and being classy in doing so. I realize the frustration it must be to be discredited for not only your work, but such a wonderful piece of work. I am flattered you took the time to do so.
I’ll be looking into more of your work later today as anybody who has this type of talent, I need to know more about their work! I have emailed this to you directly but figured a public response is due for my public error. I’ll also update that Margaret just passed away. How sad, but what a magnificent legacy she has left us with in her singing, including this magical piece of yours.
Thank you for your work and your correction. My genuine apologies again.
I AGREE MARGARET WHITING’S IS THE BEST VERSION I EVER HEARD. YOU DID A GREAT JOB WITH THE PICS AND THE FADES, TRANSTIONS, FLIPS, ETC. KEEP IT UP. I LOVE IT! I USE AVID CINEMA FOR ILLUSTRATING AND PRESENTING CHILDRENS MULTICULTURAL BOOKS. YOU MIGHT LIKE TO TRY IT BECAUSE IT HAS LOTS MORE OPTIONS FOR PRESENTATION. AGAIN, I LOVE WHAT YOU DID. GOOD LUCK.
Thanks so much for your comment and suggestion! I’ll keep it in mind. I haven’t done much video stuff since or ever but keep meaning to. Other things keep taking precedence.
I just saw your video on YouTube. I did not know this song until I saw Jason Michael Snow singing it (to be honest, I am partial to his version, although I also like Margaret Whiting’s very much).
Your comments on the reasons for and making of the video were so lovely and heartfelt, and you were so gracious to the songwriter above that I just wanted to thank you for your effort. It is a beautiful song, and you did such a nice job illustrating it. Thank you.
Aw, thank you very much, Emily! That is very kind of you to take the time to tell me. I hope you enjoyed it.