Harold Arlen
Hoagy Carmichael
Paul Whiteman
Benny Goodman
Judy Garland
(Movies & TV)

See also

Johnny Mercer

Knowledge Identifier: +Johnny_Mercer


Johnny Mercer

American lyricist, songwriter and singer add

Category: Music

Born in 1909.

Countries: United States (79%), (6%), New York (5%)

Main connections: Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Paul Whiteman

Linked to: Capitol Records, American Broadcasting Company, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, NBC




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Johnny Mercer was born in 1909 add something


Mercer attended exclusive Woodberry Forest boys prep school in Virginia until 1927 add something


Dick McDonough - His major recordings included "Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jibe" with the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra with Johnny Mercer, "Stage Fright" with Carl Kress, "Chasin' a Buck", "Feelin' No Pain", recorded in 1927 with Red Nichols, and "Chicken a la Swing"


Mercer moved to New York in 1928, when he was 19 add something


Mercer's first lyric, for the song "Out of Breath ", composed by friend Everett Miller, appeared in a musical revue "The Garrick Gaieties" in 1930 add something


The 1930s saw a shift from revues to stage and movie musicals using song to further the plot add something


Dick McDonough - After exchanging banjo for guitar, he did extensive work as a session musician in the 1930s and played with Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, The Boswell Sisters, Joe Venuti, Benny Goodman, Miff Mole, Adrian Rollini, Red Norvo, Jack Teagarden, Johnny Mercer, Billie_Holiday, Pee Wee Russell, Frankie Trumbauer, Glenn Miller, and Gene Gifford among others


Paul Whiteman - During the 1930s Whiteman had several radio shows, including Kraft Music Hall and Paul Whiteman's Musical Varieties, which featured the talents of Bing Crosby, Mildred Bailey, Jack Teagarden, Johnny Mercer, Ramona, Durelle Alexander and others.


In 1931, Mercer married Ginger Meehan, a chorus girl, later a seamstress; and in 1940, the Mercers adopted a daughter, Amanda , when he was 30 add something


In 1932, Mercer won a contest to sing with the Paul Whiteman orchestra, but it did not help his situation significantly add something


Hoagy Carmichael - In 1933 Carmichael began his collaboration with newly arrived lyricist Johnny Mercer on "Thanksgiving", "Moon Country", and "Lazybones", which was a smash hit selling over 350,000 copies in three months


It was only when Mercer moved to Hollywood in 1935 that his career was assured add something


It was performed by Crosby in the film "Rhythm on the Range" in 1936, and from thereon the demand for Mercer as a lyricist took off add something


In 1937, Mercer began employment with the Warner Brothers studio, working with the veteran composer Richard Whiting , soon producing his standard, "Too Marvelous for Words", followed by "Hooray for Hollywood" add something


A duet "Mr. Crosby and Mr. Mercer" was recorded and became a hit in 1938 add something


Another hit with Warren in 1938 was "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" add something


In 1939, Mercer wrote the lyrics to a melody by Ziggy Elman, a trumpet player with Benny Goodman add something


The pair created "Hooray For Spinach", a comic song produced for the film "Naughty But Nice" in 1939 add something


Eileen Barton - At age 15, she appeared as a guest singer on a Johnny Mercer variety series, leading to her being noticed by Frank Sinatra, who took her under his wing and put her in a regular spot on the CBS radio show that he hosted in the 1940s


Mitzi Green - Green made one more film in 1940, went back to stage and nightclub work, including "Walk With Music" by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer and the Betty Comden and Adolph Green musical "Billion Dollar Baby"


Harold Arlen - In the 1940s, he teamed up with lyricist Johnny Mercer, and continued to write hit songs like "Blues in the Night", "That Old Black Magic," "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive," "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home", "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "One for My Baby "


In 1941, shortly after the death of his father, Mercer began an intense affair with 19-year old Judy Garland while she was engaged to composer David Rose add something


Blues in the Night - The music was written by Harold Arlen, the lyrics by Johnny Mercer, for a 1941 film begun with the working title "Hot Nocturne", but finally released as "Blues in the Night"


Mercer co-founded Capitol Records in Hollywood in 1942, along with producer Buddy DeSylva and record store owner Glen Wallichs add something


Chummy MacGregor - A noted songwriter and arranger, he wrote the songs "It Must Be Jelly " with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1942, which was covered by Woody Herman in 1944 on Brunswick and as V-Disc 320B, and was recorded by Harry James, Frankie Ford, and Johnny Long; "Slumber Song" with Saul Tepper; "Doin' the Jive" written with Glenn Miller in 1937; "Moon Dreams" with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, which was arranged by Gil Evans and recorded by Miles Davis on his "Birth of the Cool" album; "Sold American" with Glenn Miller; "Sometime" with Glenn


Chummy MacGregor - Martha Tilton recorded "Moon Dreams" in 1942 for Capitol Records, which was co-founded by Johnny Mercer, the co-writer of the song


Paul Whiteman - Sylva and Johnny Mercer and music store owner Glenn Wallichs.


Billy Daniels - His later signature song was "That Old Black Magic", by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, which Daniels first recorded for Apollo Records in 1948


"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" was a big smash for Judy Garland in the 1946 film "The Harvey Girls", and earned Mercer the first of his four Academy awards for Best Song, after eight unsuccessful nominations add something


Robert E. Dolan - He joined ASCAP in 1946 often collaborating with Johnny Mercer and Walter O'Keefe in popular-song compositions


Lou Busch - It was around this time that singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer was recruiting artists and employees for his recently formed label, Capitol Records, so Busch was hired for the radio transcription service in 1946


Nature Boy - In 1947, at the prompting of Cowboy Jack Patton and Johnny Mercer, ahbez approached Nat King Cole's manager backstage at the Lincoln Theater in Los Angeles, handed him a tattered copy of "Nature Boy", and asked him to show it to Cole


Clyde McCoy - Johnny Mercer had a vocal hit in 1947


Hoagy Carmichael - "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening", with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, featured in 1951's "Here Comes the Groom", won Carmichael his first Academy *award for Best Original Song, and Mercer his second of four


In 1954, he appeared on NBC's "The Donald O'Connor Show" add something


Hy Kraft - Hy Kraft's 1954 musical play "Top Banana" was filmed for the screen and released as a movie in 1954, starring Phil Silvers as a television comic trying to regain his ratings on TV. Feeling the show was a personal swipe at him, Milton Berle wrote of it, "The only public attack I got any pleasure from was the one dreamed up by Hy Kraft and Johnny Mercer, and starring Phil Silvers


Keely Smith - These include Johnny Mercer's and Harold Arlen's "That Ol' Black Magic", which was a Top 20 hit in the US in 1958


ATCO Records issued "Two of a Kind" in 1961, a duet album by Bobby Darin and Johnny Mercer with Billy May and his Orchestra, produced by Ahmet Erteg√ľn add something


In 1961, he wrote the lyrics to "Moon River" for Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and for "Days of Wine and Roses", both with music by Henry Mancini, and Mercer received his third and fourth Oscars for Best Song add something


In 1961, his daughter Amanda gave birth to Mercer's first grandson, Jim Corwin add something


The Tony Bennett classic "I Wanna Be Around" was written by Mercer in 1962 and the Sinatra hit "Summer Wind" in 1965 add something


Mercer, with Mancini, wrote "Charade" for the 1963 Cary Grant-Audrey Hepburn romantic thriller with the same name add something


An indication of the high esteem in which Mercer was held can be observed in that in 1964 he became the only lyricist to have his work recorded as a volume of Ella Fitzgerald's celebrated 'Songbook' albums for the Verve label add something


The producer offered the commission to Paul Francis Webster and the result was "The Shadow of Your Smile" which became a huge hit, winning the 1965 Oscar for Best Original Song add something


In 1969, Mercer helped publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond found the National Academy of Popular Music's Songwriters Hall of Fame add something


James Arthur Williams - In 1969, Williams purchased the home, which was originally built for General Hugh Weedon Mercer, great-grandfather of songwriter Johnny Mercer


In 1971, Mercer presented a retrospective of his career for the "Lyrics and Lyricists Series" in New York, including an omnibus of his "greatest hits" and a performance by Margaret Whiting add something


In 1974, he collaborated on the West End production "The Good Companions" add something


In 1975, Paul McCartney approached Mercer for a collaboration but Mercer was ill, and an inoperable brain tumor was diagnosed add something


Blossom Dearie - Songwriter Johnny Mercer, with whom she collaborated for her 1975 song, "I'm Shadowing You", gave one of his final compositions to Dearie for the title song of her 1976 Daffodil album, "My New Celebrity is You"


After Mercer's death in 1976 from a brain tumor, his widow, Ginger Mehan Mercer, arranged to give some unfinished lyrics he had written to Manilow to possibly develop into complete songs add something

Johnny Mercer died in 1976 add something


He died on June 25, 1976, in Bel Air, California add something


Manilow applied his own melody to the lyric and issued it as a single in 1984, when it became a top 10 Adult Contemporary hit in the United States add something


Jimmy Rowles - Fitzgerald recorded Rowles and Johnny Mercer's song "Baby, Don't You Quit Now" on her final album, "All That Jazz", released in 1989


Mercer was honored by the United States Postal Service with his portrait placed on a stamp in 1996 add something


In 2009 Clint Eastwood produced a documentary film on Johnny Mercer's life and work called "The Dream's on Me" add something


In November 2009, a statue of Mercer was unveiled in Ellis Square in Savannah, Georgia, his hometown and birthplace add something


Larry Goldings - Goldings is a featured performer in the 2009 Clint Eastwood documentary, The Dream's on Me, playing original arrangements of several classic Johnny Mercer tunes on piano and Hammond organ.


" Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2013 add something


Lionel Richie - In 2016, Richie received the Songwriters Hall of Fame's highest honor, the Johnny Mercer *award