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Johnny Mercer


photo portrait of Johnny Mercer

Basic Information

Born: John Herndon Mercer, Nov. 18, 1909, Savannah, Georgia, (US)

Died: June 25, 1976 (age 66) Los Angeles, Califonia

Primary songwriting role: lyricist; also a singer, composer, actor, and co-founder of Capitol Records.

Co-writers: According to The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer, "the list of men and women with whom [Mercer] worte totals 230 . . . supassing by a wide margin any other major American songwriter." His "primary songwriting partners" include Richard A. Whiting, Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, and Harry Warren. For songs written with these co-writers and 69 others, view the DBOPM database.

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Basic Songwiter Information
Overview and Commentary
Music-Video Cabinet
Songs by This Songwriter
in the Cafe Songbook Catalog
of The Great American Songbook
Web Research Resources
Print Research Resources
Visitor Comments
Master List of Songwriters
Credits

Overview and Commentary
Johnny Mercer
(This section is currently in preparation)


book cover: The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer
The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer, Robert Kimball, Barry Day, Miles Kreuger, and Eric Davis (Eds.),
New York: Alfred A. Knoph, 2009.

Miles Kreuger opens his essay "Johnny Mercer -- Too Marvelous for Words" with the following paragraph that captures the broad outlines as well as the essence of the songwriter's fabulous career:

He received an astonishing eighteen Academy Award nominations for best song and and won four times. He has one of the largest catalogs of hits in ASCAP, for which he served as a board member. Largely a man who wrote lyrics, he also penned the music for some of his best songs, although Margaret Whiting claims that he could barely play the piano with one finger. He appeared as an actor in two movies and had bit roles in several Broadway productions. He cofounded Capitol Records and transformed the neophyte label into a competitor to RCA Victor, Columbia, and Decca. But it was as a familiar radio singer and recording star that Johnny Mercer by far became the best-loved songwriter in history (The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer, p. xv).

Words and Music Mercer, predominantly a lyricist, wrote both the words and music for five songs in the Cafe Songbook catalog: "Dream," "Goody Goody," "I Wanna Be Around to Pick Up the Pieces," I'm an Old Cowhand," and "Something's Gotta Give."

Book cover: Alec Wilder, "America's Popular Song"
Alec Wilder, American Popular Song The Great Innovators, 1900-1950, New York: Oxford University Press, 1972.
In an aside, Alec Wilder says of Mercer's lyrics, "I believe that one of the reasons Johnny Mercer's lyrics have an added zest, a crackle and shine to them, is that he probably sings them as he writes them. For after all, he began his career as a singer" (Wilder, p. 507, hardcover Ed.).
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Cafe Songbook
Music-Video Cabinet:
Johnny Mercer
(This section is currently in preparation)

album cover: An Evening with Johnny Mercer
An Evening with Johnny Mercer
(CD of Mercer's appearance
at the 92nd Street Y, NYC, March 1971,
"Lyrics and Lyricists Series"
where he sings and talks about his songs--
a priceless performance
-- Amazon only

Amazon iTunes

Mercer and Crosby on TV (c. 1960) mimicking an earlier medium--radio--where they both spent a lot of time early in their careers.
(credit)


Johnny Mercer and Evelyn Poe sing "Comes The Revolution, Baby" (Lewis E. Gensler, music; Mercer, words) written for´╗┐ the 1935 RKO film
Old Man Rhythm.


Musical theater historians Barry Day and Robert Kimball discuss the life and times of singer and songwriter Johnny Mercer. Singers Anna Bergman and Steve Ross perform -- on Theater Talk.

Johnny Mercer and Nat King Cole swing
"Save the Bones for Henry Jones"
on the Nat King Cole TV show (Oct. 29, 1957)
(credit)


Johnny Mercer Capitol Collectors Series
(collected recordings of Mercer
singing his own work)

Amazon iTunes
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Johnny Mercer Songs
currently included in the
Cafe Songbook Catalog of
The Great American Songbook
  1. Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive

  2. And the Angels Sing

  3. Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home

  4. Autumn Leaves

  5. Blues in the Night

  6. Bob White

  7. Can't Teach My Old Heart New Tricks

  8. Come Rain or Come Shine

  9. Day In, Day Out

  10. Days Of Wine And Roses

  11. Dearly Beloved

  12. Dream*

  13. Drinking Again

  14. Early Autumn

  15. Emily

  16. Fools Rush In

  17. Goody Goody*

  18. Hit the Road to Dreamland

  19. Hooray for Hollywood

  20. How Little We Know

  21. I Had Myself a True Love

  22. I Remember You

  23. I Thought About You

  24. I Wanna Be Around (to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart)*

  25. I Wonder What Became of Me

  26. I'm An Old Cowhand (from the Rio Grande)*

  27. I'm Building up to an Awful Letdown

  28. I'm Old Fashioned

  29. In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening

  30. Jeepers Creepers

  31. Laura

  32. Lazybones

  33. Let's Take the Long Way Home

  34. Midnight Sun

  35. Moon River

  36. My Shining Hour

  37. On the Atchison, Topeka, & The Santa Fe

  38. One for My Baby

  39. Out of This World

  40. P.S. I Love You

  41. Satin Doll

  42. Skylark

  43. Something's Gotta Give*

  44. Summer Wind

  45. Tangerine

  46. That Old Black Magic

  47. This Time the Dream's on Me

  48. Too Marvelous for Words

  49. Trav'lin' Light

  50. When A Woman Loves A Man

  51. When the World Was Young (Ah, the Apple Trees)

  52. You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby

  53. You Were Never Lovelier

*Johnny Mercer songs currently in the Cafe Songbook Catalog of the Great American Songbookfor which Mercer received full or partial credit for both music and lyrics.
Click here for a database of songs written or co-written by Johnny Mercer.
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Research Resources:
Johnny Mercer

Johnny Mercer
research resources on the web (listed alphabetically by web source):
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Johnny Mercer research resources in print (listed chronologically):
 
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Credits

(Johnny Mercer page)

 

Credits for Videomakers of videos used on this page:

Borrowed material (text): The sources of all quoted and paraphrased text are cited. Such content is used under the rules of fair use to further the educational objectives of CafeSongbook.com. CafeSongbook.com makes no claims to rights of any kind in this content or the sources from which it comes.

 

Borrowed material (images): Images of CD, DVD, book and similar product covers are used courtesy of either Amazon.com or iTunes/LinkShare with which CafeSongbook.com maintains an affiliate status. All such images are linked to the source from which they came (i.e. either iTunes/LinkShare or Amazon.com).

 

Any other images that appear on CafeSongbook.com pages are either in the public domain or appear through the specific permission of their owners. Such permission will be acknowledged in this space on the page where the image is used.

 

For further information on Cafe Songbook policies with regard to the above matters, see our "About Cafe Songbook" page (link at top and bottom of every page).

Cafe Songbook
Master List
of Great American Songbook Songwriters

Names of songwriters who have written at least one song included in the Cafe Songbook Catalog of The Great American Songbook are listed below.

 

Names of songwriters with two or more song credits in the catalog (with rare exceptions) are linked to their own Cafe Songbook pages, e.g. Fields, Dorothy.

 

Names of songwriters with only one song credit in the catalog are linked to the Cafe Songbook page for that song, on which may be found information about the songwriter or a link to an information source for him or her.

 

Please note: Cafe Songbook pages for songwriters are currently in various stages of development.

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Adair, Tom

Adams, Lee

Adams, Stanley

Adamson, Harold

Ager, Milton

Ahbez, Eden

Ahlert, Fred

Akst, Harry

Alexander, Van

Allen, Lewis

Allen, Steve

Alter, Louis

Altman, Arthur

Anderson, Maxwell

Andre, Fabian

Arlen, Harold
Arnheim, Gus

Arodin, Sid

Atwood, Hub

Astaire, Fred

Austin, Gene

Ayer, Nat D.

Barbour, Dave

Barnes, Billy

Barris, Harry

Bassman, George

Belle, Barbara

Bennett, Dave

Bergman, Alan and Marilyn

Berlin, Irving

Bernie, Ben

Bernstein, Leonard

Best, William "Pat"

Blackburn, John

Blackwell, Otis (a.k.a. John Davenport)

Blake, Eubie

Blane, Ralph

Blitzstein, Marc

Bloom, Rube

Bock, Jerry

Block, Martin

Boland, Clay

Borne, Hal

Borodin, Alexander

Bowman, Brooks

Boyd, Elisse

Brent, Earl K.

Bricusse, Leslie

Brooks, Harry

Brooks, Shelton

Brown, Les

Brown, Lew

Brown, Nacio Herb

Brown, Seymour

Burke, Joe

Burke, Johnny

Burke, Sonny

Burnett, Ernie

Burns, Ralph

Burwell, Cliff

Bushkin, Joe

 

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Caesar, Irving

Cahn, Sammy

Caldwell, Anne

Campbell, Jimmy

Carey, Bill (William D.)

Carmichael, Hoagy

Carroll, Harry

Carter, Benny

Casey, Kenneth

Casucci, Leonello

Chaplin, Charlie

Chaplin, Saul

Charlap, Moose

Clare, Sidney

Chase, Newell

Churchill, Frank

Clarke, Grant

Clifford, Gordon

Clinton, Larry

Coates, Carroll

Coleman, Cy

Comden, Betty and Adolph Green

Conley, Larry

Connelly, Reginald

Conrad, Con

Cooley, Eddie

Coots, J. Fred

Cory, George

Coslow, Sam

Creamer, Henry

Crosby, Bing

Cross, Douglas

Daniels, Charles N.
Davenport, John (See Otis Blackwell.)

David, Mack

Davis, Benny

Davis, Jimmy

Dee, Sylvia

De Lange, Eddie

Denniker, Paul

Dennis, Matt

De Paul, Gene

De Rose, Peter

De Sylva, B.G. (Buddy)

DeVries, John

Dietz, Howard

Distel, Sacha

Dixon, Mort

Donaldson, Walter

Dorsey, Jimmy

Dougherty, Doc

Drake, Ervin
Drake, Milton

Dreyer, Dave

Dubin, Al

Duke, Vernon

Edens, Roger

Edwards, Michael

Egan, Raymond B.

Eliscu, Edward

Ellington, Duke

Elman, Ziggy

Engvick, William

Evans, Ray

Evans, Redd

Eyton, Frank

 

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Fain, Sammy

Fetter, Ted

Fields, Dorothy

Fischer, Carl

Fisher, Dan

Fisher, Fred

Fisher, Mark

Fisher, Marvin

Forrest, George

Freed, Arthur

Freed, Ralph

L. E. Freeman

Gaines, Lee

Gallop, Sammy

Gannon, Kim

Garner, Errol

Gaskill, Clarence

Gensler, Lewis E.

George, Don

Gershwin, George

Gershwin, Ira

Gillespie, Haven

Golden, John

Goodman, Benny

Goodwin, Joe

Gordon, Irving

Gordon, Mack

Gorney, Jay

Gorrell, Stuart

Goulding, Edmund

Grainger, Porter

Grand, Murray

Grant, Ian

Gray, Chauncey

Gray, Timothy

Grever, Maria

Grey, Clifford
Green, Adolph and Betty Comden

Green, Bud

Green, Freddie

Green, Johnny

Gross, Walter

Haggart, Bob

Hamilton, Arthur

Hamilton, Nancy

Hamm, Fred

Hammerstein, Arthur

Hammerstein II, Oscar

Hampton, Lionel

Handy, W. C.
Hanighen, Bernie

Hanley, James F.

Harbach, Otto

Harburg, E. Y. (Yip)

Harling, W. Franke

Harline, Leigh

Hart, Lorenz

Henderson, Jimmy

Henderson, Ray

Herbert, Victor

Herman, Woody

Herron, Joel S.

Herzog Jr., Arthur

Heyman, Edward

Heyward, Dubose

Higginbotham, Irene

Higgins, Billy

Hilliard, Bob

Hirsch, Walter

Hodges, Johnny

Holiday, Billie

Holiner, Mann

Hollander, Frederick

Holofcener, Larry

Homer, Ben

Hopper, Hal

Howard, Bart

Hubbell, Raymond

Hupfeld, Herman

 

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I-J

Jacobs, Jacob

Jaffe, Moe

James, Freddy (Pseud. for Teddy Powell)

James, Harry

James, Paul

Jenkins, Gordon

Johnson, James P.

Johnston, Arthur

Johnston, Patricia

Jolson, Al

Jones, Isham

Kahal, Irving

Kahn, Gus

Kahn, Roger Wolfe

Kalmar, Bert

Keith, Marilyn
Kent, Walter

Kern, Jerome

Kisco, Charles

Kitchings, Irene

Koehler, Ted

Kosma, Joseph

Kramer, Alex

Kramer, Joan Whitney

Kurtz, Manny

Laine, Frankie

Lamare, Jules (a.k.a Charles N.

Daniels and Neil Moret)

Lane, Burt
Landesman, Fran

Latouche, John

Lawrence, Eddie

Lawrence, Jack

Layton, Turner

Lee, Peggy

Leigh, Carolyn

Leonard, Anita

Lerner, Alan Jay
Leslie, Edgar

Levant, Oscar

Lewis, Morgan

Lewis, Sam M.

Link, Harry

Lippman, Sidney

Livingston, Fud

Livingston, Jay

Livingston, Jerry

Loeb, John Jacob

Loesser, Frank

Loewe, Frederick

Lombardo, Carmen

Lowe, Ruth

Lown, Bert
Lyman, Abe

 

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M

MacDonald, Ballard

Magidson, Herb
Malneck, Matty

Mancini, Henry

Mandel, Frank

Mandel, Johnny

Mann, David

Marks, Gerald

Martin, Hugh

Maschwitz, Eric

Mayer, Henry
McCarey, Leo

McCarthy, Joseph

McCarthy, Jr., Joseph

McHugh, Jimmy

McCoy, Joe

Mellin, Robert

Mercer, Johnny

Merrill, Bob

Mertz, Paul Madeira

Meyer, Joseph

Miles, Dick

Miller, Glenn

Miller, Nathan Ned

Mills, Irving
Mitchell, Sidney D.

Moll, Billy

Monaco, Jimmy

Moret, Neil (aka Charles N. Daniels)

Morey, Larry

Moross, Jerome

Mundy, Jimmy

Muse, Clarence

Myrow, Josef

Nemo, Henry

Newley, Anthony

Nichols, Alberta

Noble, Ray

Norman, Pierre
Norton, George A.

Oakland, Ben

Overstreet, Benton W.

Palmer, Jack

Palmer, Bee

Parish, Mitchell

Parker, Dorothy

Parker, Sol

Parsons, Geoffrey

Perkins, Frank S.

Phillipe-Gérard M(ichel)

Pinkard, Maceo

Porter, Cole

Prima, Louis

Prince, Graham

Prince, Hughie

 

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Rainger, Ralph

Raksin, David

Ram, Buck

Ramirez, Roger (Ram)

Rand Lionel

Raye, Don

Razaf, Andy

Reardon, Jack

Redmond, John

Rene, Leon T.

Rene, Otis

Revel, Harry

Reynolds, Ellis

Reynolds, Herbert

Rhodes, Stan

Robin, Leo

Robin, Sid

Robison, Willard

Rodgers, Richard

Romberg, Sigmund

Rome, Harold

Ronell, Ann
Rose, Billy

Rose, Fred

Rose, Vincent

Ruby, Harry

Ruby, Herman

Ruskin, Harry

Russell, Bob

Sampson, Edgar

Sanicola, Henry

Santly, Lester

Savitt, Jay

Secunda, Sholom

Segal Jack
Schertzinger, Victor
Schwandt, Wilbur

Schwartz, Arthur

Scott, Bertha

Shapiro, Ted

Shavers, Charlie

Shay, Larry

Shearing, George

Sherman, Jimmy

Sherwin, Manning

Sigman, Carl

Signorelli, Frank

Silvers, Phil

Simons, Seymour

Sinatra, Frank

Sissle, Noble

Skylar, Sunny

Snyder, Ted

Sondheim, Stephen

Sour, Robert
Spence, Lew

Springer, Philip

Stept, Sam H.

Stock, Larry

Stordahl, Axel

Strachey, Jack

Strayhorn, Billy

Strouse, Charles

Styne, Jule

Suessdorf, Karl

Suesse, Dana

Sullivan, Henry

Swan, Einar Aaron

Swift, Kay

Symes, Marty

 

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T-U

Tauber, Doris

Teagarten, Jack

Thompson, Kay
Tobias, Charles

Tobias, Harry

Tormé, Mel

Tracey, William G.
Trent, Jo

Troop, Bobby

Turk, Roy

Turner, John

Van Heusen, Jimmy (James)

Vimmerstedt, Sadie

Waller, Fats

Warfield, Charles

Warren, Harry

Washington, Ned
Watson, Johnny

Webb, Chick

Webster, Paul Francis

Weill, Kurt

Weiss, George David

Wells, Robert

Weston, Paul

Whiting, Richard A.

Whiting, George A.

Wilder, Alec

Wiley, Lee

Wilkinson, Dudley


Williams, Clarence

Williams, Spencer

Wodehouse, P. G.

Wolf, Donald E.

Wolf, Jack

Wolf, Tommy

Wood, Guy B

Woods, Harry M.

Wright, Lawrence

Wright, Robert

Wrubel, Allie

Yellen, Jack

Youmans, Vincent

Young, Joe

Young, Trummy

Young, Victor

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