Mercer, Man Of His Words

From ‘Charade’ to ‘One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)’, we have mixed 19 ‘Jazz Songs‘ tunes written or co-written by ‘Johnny Mercer‘. It has Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Mimi Lo, Freddy Cole and many more.

LINER NOTES
IMAGE : come rain or come shine. Photo by Mathias Kunzli
INFORMATIONS

Johnny Mercer: This bard of Tin Pan Alley wrote his first song when only fifteen years of age, a ditty titled “Sister Susie Strut Your Stuff”, and in the years since he’s composed more than 1,500 songs, has had more than 750 published, and has scored hits with nearly 100.Among Mercer’s most successful musical efforts are “Blues in the Night”, “Dream”, “Something’s Gotta Give”,

Georgia State University Library : John Herndon Mercer (1909-1976) is a native of Savannah, Georgia, …a region where the local culture combined the rich literary and language traditions of both white and black Southerners. In later years, fans and observers noted the traces of this Southern heritage still evident in his writing.

Johnny Mercer Foundation : His lyrics came naturally from the colorful way the people around him talked: you gotta “Accentuate The Positive;” “Fools Rush In;” “Where Angels Fear To Tread;” “Any Place To Hang My Hat Is Home;” you’re just “Too Marvelous For Words.” And the sounds he heard– the clickety clack of the railroad track, the wind whistling through the Spanish moss, and the rain like silver slivers racing along the horizon– “Now the rain’s a-fallin’, hear the train a-callin’ ‘Whoo-ee!’”

New Georgia Encyclopedia : As a choirboy at Christ Church and a student at Chatham Academy, he attended concerts, minstrel shows, and lectures as well as the theater and cinema. He also received ample doses of folk culture; for example, he witnessed the black cult leader Bishop Daddy Grace return to his flock at the United House of Prayer for All People on the Ogeechee Road.

Musician Guide : In 1959 when Mercer received from Sadie Vimmerstedt, an Ohio cosmetician, the line, “I want to be around to pick up the pieces when somebody’s breaking your heart.” After fashioning a song around the contribution, Mercer gave Vimmerstedt a co-author credit that earned her about $3000 a year after the song became a hit for Tony Bennett in 1963.

Friends of Johnny Mercer : In 194(someting), Johnny writes to his mother “The publishing goes along as usual – bad. It seems any hits that I write I don’t publish”. (like there is an eternal crisis in the music business

The Songwriters Hall of Fame : In 1942, together with fellow songwriter (and film producer) Buddy De Sylva and businessman Glen Wallichs, he founded Capitol Records and became Capitol’s first President and chief talent scout. Soon, he had signed up such performers as Stan Kenton, Nat “King” Cole, Jo Stafford, and Margaret Whiting, and by 1946 Capitol was responsible for one sixth of all records sold in the U.S.

Starpulse : Following an album with Bobby Darin and collaborations with Henry Mancini in the early ’60s, Mercer’s career slowed down under the onslaught of rock & roll.

Blue-Eyes.com : When he drank, Mercer tore into friends and strangers alike with vicious abuse. Mercer’s wife Ginger, whom he’d bested Bing Crosby to win, suffered the cruelest attacks; Mercer would even improvise cutting lyrics about her at parties.

Blue-Eyes.com : When he drank, Mercer tore into friends and strangers alike with vicious abuse. Mercer’s wife Ginger, whom he’d bested Bing Crosby to win, suffered the cruelest attacks; Mercer would even improvise cutting lyrics about her at parties.

PLAYLIST : Johnny Hartman – Charade (2.34) . Jane Monheit – Hit The Road To Dreamland (4.06) . Johnny Mercer & Jo Stafford – Candy (3.12) . Harry James – Laura (3.19) . Mimi Lo – Moon River (3.23) . Ricky Nelson – Fools Rush In (2.30) . Frank Sinatra – Summer Wind (2.56) . Rachell Ferrell – Autumn Leaves (8.16) . Aretha Franklin – Drinking Again (3.29) . Freddy Cole – I Remember You (5.11) . Judy Garland – Come Rain Or Come Shine (3.41) . Bing Crosby – Too marvelous for words (3.03) . Nat King Cole – Day In. Day Out (2.25) . Charlie Barnet – That old black magic (3.19) . Sarah Vaughan – The midnight sun will never set (2.49) . Ella Fitzgerald – One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (4.19) . Ethel Waters – Jeepers creepers (2.50) . Henri Mancini – Days of Wine and Roses (2.09) . Anita O’Day – Hooray For Hollywood (2.21) .

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