Marlene VerPlanck, 84, Jan. 14, of pancreatic cancer. Diagnosed in November she continued to perform up to the end. As a jazz vocalist, she began recording in 1955. Touring with the Charlie Spivak Band, she met her husband of 52 years, arranger Billy VerPlanck, who would arrange the music on several of her albums.
Together they worked with Tommy Dorsey’s band. In the late ’50s she sang with the John LaSalle Quartet. During the ’60s and ’70s she made a second career as a jingle singer. She was the voice of “Mmm Mmm Good” for Campbell Soup and the “Yeah” in Michelob beer ads. She also sang backing vocals for, among others, Frank Sinatra. In 1979 she re-emerged with a new solo album. Many followed and she toured extensively in the US and abroad.