THE BROADWAY MEMORIES ARCHIVES
WEEK OF 10/12/05: THE MUSIC Of JOHNNY MERCER
The following is
the free online encyclopedia:
Johnny Mercer (November
18, 1909 - June 25, 1976) was a pop music composer.
Born in Savannah, Georgia, he is regarded as one of America's greatest songwriters.
In the early 1940s, Mercer was one of the co-founders of Capitol Records.
Mercer was also a well-regarded singer, with a folksy singing quality. This
made him a natural to his own songs like "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive", "On
The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe", and "Lazybones".
Mercer often was asked to write lyrics to already popular songs. The lyrics
to "Laura", "Midnight Sun" and "Satin Doll" were
all written after the songs were already hits. Mercer was also asked to write
English lyrics to foreign songs. The most famous example of this is "Autumn
Johnny Mercer also wrote the music for MGM films, including "Seven Brides
for Seven Brothers" (1954) and "Merry Andrew" (1958).
In 1969 he helped publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond found the National
Academy of Popular Music's Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Mercer died in Bel Air, California.
In 1996 he was honored by the United States Postal Service with his portrait
placed on a stamp.
Johnny Mercer has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1628 Vine Street,
right outside the Capitol Records building.
His home in Savannah was the scene of the murder recounted in the book and
movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The book includes
considerable information about Mercer.
Lyrics by Mercer, unless noted.
Mercer won four Academy Awards for Best Song:
" On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe" (1946) (music by Harry
Warren) for The Harvey Girls
" In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening" (1951) (music by Hoagy Carmichael)
for Here Comes The Groom
" Moon River" (1961) (music by Henry Mancini) for Breakfast at Tiffany's
" Days of Wine and Roses" (1962) (music by Henry Mancini) for Days
of Wine and Roses
He wrote many other songs which have entered the Great American Songbook:
" Lazybones" (1933) (words and music by Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael)
" Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (1935) (words and music by Mercer)
" Jeepers Creepers" (1938) (music by Harry Warren)
" And The Angels Sing" (1939) (music by Ziggy Elman)
" Day In - Day Out" (1939) (music by Rube Bloom)
" Blues In The Night" (1941) (music by Harold Arlen)
" Hit The Road To Dreamland" (1942) (music by Harold Arlen)
" I Remember You" (1942) (music by Victor Schertzinger)
" Skylark" (1942) (music by Hoagy Carmichael)
" That Old Black Magic" (1942) (music by Harold Arlen)
" One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)" (1943) (music by Harold
" Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive" (1944) (music by Harold Arlen)
" Dream" (1944) (words and music by Mercer)
" Laura" (1945) (music by David Raksin)
" Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" (1946) (music by Harold Arlen)
" Come Rain Or Come Shine" (1946) (music by Harold Arlen)
" Autumn Leaves" (1947) (music by Joseph Kosma)
" Satin Doll" (music by Duke Ellington)
" Midnight Sun" (music by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke)
" Summer Wind" (1965) (music by Henry Mayer)
" Drinking Again" (with Doris Tauber)