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JOHNNY MERCER

Johnny Mercer was born in Savannah, Georgia, and he called upon the imagery of the southern landscape and its idiosyncrasies of speech for his lyrics. His relaxed and charming singing style also reflected the gentile South. He came to New York and, fortunately for posterity, failed to get a role in a 1930 show, contributing a song instead and turning his attention to music. As a vocalist he racked up 29 hits between 1938 and 1952, and as a lyricist he holds the record for the most #1 songs on the “Hit Parade”.

Mercer collaborated with the great songwriters. His lyrics were hip, and he was a magician with words. Of some 1500 songs, his first hit was Hoagy Carmichael’s “Lazybones” (1933), followed by “Skylark” (1941). He and his partner for a decade, Harold Arlen, hit the charts with “Blues in the Night” (1941) and “That Old Black Magic” (1942). In 1944 Bing Crosby introduced their “Accentuate the Positive” in Here Come the Waves.

In 1942 Mercer wrote lyrics for “I’m Old-Fashioned” (Jerome Kern) and for “I Remember You” and “Tangerine” (Victor Schertzinger) and became one of the founders of Capitol Records. In 1947 he collaborated with Sonny Burke and Lionel Hampton on the jazz classic “Midnight Sun,” and in 1958 he added lyrics to the Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn instrumental “Satin Doll”.

During Mercer’s active film career he supplied lyrics to David Raksin’s haunting theme for Laura (1945) and to Johnny Mandel’s “Emily” (The Americanization of Emily, 1964). Among his Oscar winners are “On the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe” with Harry Warren (1946) and “Moon River” with Henry Mancini (1961). He also scored several Broadway shows, including Li’l Abner, 1959.

Mercer is one of the songwriters honored by a stamp from the U.S. Postal Service in 1996.

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com


Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Non-Classical Artist | Non-Classical Composer | Lyricist | Arranger
Role: Non-Classical Artist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 

Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ALLEN, Jackie: Which? Naxos Jazz
86042-2
Contemporary Jazz
BAECASTUFF: Out of This World Naxos Jazz
86063-2
Contemporary Jazz
BASIE, Count: Rock-A-Bye Basie (1939-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120736
Jazz
DAVIS JR, Sammy: Hey There (1949-1955) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120833
Nostalgia
DAVIS, Miles: Boplicity (1949-1953) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120772
Jazz
DORSEY, Tommy: Swing High (1936-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120632
Jazz
FITZGERALD, Ella: Ella And Company (1943-1951) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120765
Jazz
FITZGERALD, Ella: Lullaby Of Birdland (1947-1954) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120774
Jazz
GOODMAN, Benny: Bumblebee Stomp (1937-1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120677
Jazz
HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, VOL. 4: 1955 Pop, Part 1 Naxos Rock Legends
9.82506
Nostalgia
HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, VOL. 4: 1955 Pop, Part 2 Naxos Rock Legends
9.82508
Nostalgia
HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, VOL. 6: 1957, Part 3 Naxos Rock Legends
9.82515
Pop and Rock
JAZZ AMBASSADORS: Legacy of Stan Kenton (The) Altissimo
75442260742
Contemporary Jazz
JONES, Spike: Musical Depreciation with Spike Jones (1942-1950) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120679
Nostalgia
KING COLE TRIO: Transcriptions, Vol. 1 (1938) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120512
Jazz
LANZA, Mario: Because You're Mine (1952-1954) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120784
Nostalgia
MAYERL, Billy: Billy Mayerl, Vol. 2 (1934-1946) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120654
Nostalgia
MILLER, Glenn: Oh, So Good (1939-1943) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120573
Jazz
MILLS BROTHERS: Swing Is The Thing (1934-1938) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120680
Nostalgia
SHAW, Artie: Begin the Beguine (1936-1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120615
Jazz
SHELTON, Anne: Fools Rush In (1940-1941) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120663
Nostalgia
TEAGARDEN, Jack: It's Time for T (1929-1953) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120825
Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: On the Air Altissimo
75442253472
Contemporary Jazz
WE CAN DO IT! - Celebrating Women in WWII Altissimo
75442272022
Contemporary Jazz
WYNTERS, Gail: My Shining Hour Naxos Jazz
86027-2
Contemporary Jazz

Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ANDREWS SISTERS: Hit the Road (1938-1944) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120550
Nostalgia
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Jeepers Creepers (1938-1939) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 5) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120815
Jazz
BECHET, Sidney: Blackstick (1938-1950) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120616
Jazz
BENNETT, Richard Rodney: I Never Went Away … Delos
DE5001
Contemporary Jazz
BLUE VELVET - 60 Nostalgia All Time Classics Naxos Nostalgia
8.103018
Nostalgia
CARMICHAEL, Hoagy: Riverboat Shuffle (1927-1938) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120767
Jazz
COMMODORES JAZZ ENSEMBLE: Sessions on M. Street, S.E. Altissimo
75442270042
Contemporary Jazz
COWARD, Noel: Mad About the Boy (1932-1943) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120623
Nostalgia
DAVIS JR, Sammy: Hey There (1949-1955) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120833
Nostalgia
EDDIE THOMAS SINGERS (THE): Voices from the Apartment Below Naxos Nostalgia
8.120896
Nostalgia
FITZGERALD, Ella: Lullaby Of Birdland (1947-1954) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120774
Jazz
HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, VOL. 4: 1955 Pop, Part 1 Naxos Rock Legends
9.82506
Nostalgia
HISTORY OF ROCK AND ROLL, VOL. 4: 1955 Pop, Part 2 Naxos Rock Legends
9.82508
Nostalgia, Pop and Rock
Jazzin Legeanat - 60 kaikkien aikojen klassikkoa Naxos Jazz Legends
8.103014
Jazz
JONES, Spike: Musical Depreciation with Spike Jones (1942-1950) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120679
Nostalgia
KERN, J.: Songs (Can't Help Singing - A New Look at Jerome Kern Classics) (Voices of Ascension, Keene) Delos
DE3224
Choral - Secular
KERN: The Song Is You (1925-1945) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120827
Nostalgia
KLEIN, Miriam: Ballads for Loving Kindness Divox
CDX-49305
Contemporary Jazz
LEA, Barbara: A Woman In Love (1955) Naxos Jazz Archives
9.81228JZ
Jazz
MILLS BROTHERS: Early Classics (1931-1934) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120546
Jazz
OPERA NIGHT (Opera Cologne, 2005) (NTSC) Arthaus Musik
101105
Classical Concert
SHORE, Dinah: Dinah Shore (1939-1951) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120659
Nostalgia
STARS of the GOLDEN ERA Naxos Nostalgia
8.120754-55
Nostalgia
SVENSKA JAZZKLASSIKER (Swedish Jazz Classics) (1950-1951) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120868
Nostalgia
TEAGARDEN, Jack: It's Time for T (1929-1953) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120825
Jazz
TERRY, Clark: Having Fun Delos
DE4021
Contemporary Jazz
THOSE WERE OUR SONGS - Hits from World War II Altissimo
75442255452
Contemporary Jazz, Choral - Secular
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE AIRMEN OF NOTE: Keep E'm Flying Altissimo
75442271102
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE BAND OF THE PACIFIC: Midnight Sun Altissimo
75442260412
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES ARMY BAND: From Sea to Shining Sea Altissimo
75442270362
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES ARMY FIELD BAND JAZZ AMBASSADORS: Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Altissimo
75442270012
Contemporary Jazz
UNITED STATES NAVY BAND: Remembering the Navy Hour (Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of World War II) Altissimo
75442270192
Choral - Secular
UNITED STATES NAVY COMMODORES JAZZ Ensemble: 75th Anniversary Collection, Vol. 3 (1969-2000) Altissimo
75442261272
Contemporary Jazz
VAUGHAN, Sarah: Come Rain or Come Shine (1949-1953) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120773
Jazz
Vocal Recital: Mattila, Karita - PORTER, C. / RODGERS, R. / HART, L / COOLEY, E. / SILVA, J. / JOBIM, A. / ARLEN, H. / GERSHWIN, G. / KERN, J. Ondine
ODE1105-2
Contemporary Jazz
WE CAN DO IT! - Celebrating Women in WWII Altissimo
75442272022
Contemporary Jazz
WYNTERS, Gail: My Shining Hour Naxos Jazz
86027-2
Contemporary Jazz

Role: Arranger 
Album Title  Catalogue No  Work Category 
LANZA, Mario: Because You're Mine (1952-1954) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120784
Nostalgia





 
 
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