Johnny Mercer

Born: November 18, 1909 | Died: June 25, 1976    Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor

Johnny Mercer

When people write about Johnny Mercer, they usually talk about his fabulous career, the sheer quantity of his output, the speed and ease with which he wrote, his southern charm, the hip sophistication of his lyrics. But all this misses the real point. Ask anyone who writes lyrics. Johnny Mercer was a genius.

He was born John Herndon Mercer on November 18, 1909 into an old Southern family in Savannah, Georgia. His father was a wealthy attorney with a flourishing real estate business, and young John was sent to a fashionable prep school, the Woodbury Forrest School in Virginia. However, when he was 17, his father's business collapsed, and his father found himself a million dollars in debt. Rather than declare bankruptcy, his father dedicated the rest of his life to paying off that debt, and suddenly young John Mercer, no longer able to go on to college, was on his way to New York City, hoping to make good as an actor....
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Mercer won four Academy Award for Best Original 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

"Lazy Bones" (1933) (music by Hoagy Carmichael)
"Save the Bones for Henry Jones"
"Moon Dreams" with Chummy MacGregor
"P.S. I Love You" (1934) (music by Gordon Jenkins)
"Goody Goody" (1936) (music by Matty Malneck)
"I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande" (1936)
"Hooray for Hollywood" (1937) (music by Richard A. Whiting)
"Too Marvelous for Words" (1937) (music by Richard A. Whiting)
"You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" (1938) (music by Harry Warren)
"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)
"I Thought About You" (1939) (music by Jimmy Van Heusen)
"Wings Over the Navy" (1939) (music by Harry Warren)
"Cuckoo in the Clock" (1939) (music by Walter Donaldson)
"Fools Rush In" (1940) (music by Rube Bloom)
"Blues In The Night" (1941) (music by Harold Arlen)
"I Had Myself A True Love" (music by Harold Arlen)
"I Remember You" (1941) (music by Victor Schertzinger)
"Tangerine" (1941) (music by Victor Schertzinger)
"This Time the Dream's on Me" (1941) (music by Harold Arlen)
"Hit The Road To Dreamland" (1942) (music by Harold Arlen)
"That Old Black Magic" (1942) (music by Harold Arlen)
"Trav'lin' Light" (1942) (music by Jimmy Mundy and James Osborne "Trummy" Young)
"Skylark" (1942) (music by Hoagy Carmichael)
"Dearly Beloved" (1942) (music by Jerome Kern)
"I'm Old Fashioned" (1942) (music by Jerome Kern)
"My Shining Hour" (1943) (music by Harold Arlen)
"One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" (1943) (music by Harold Arlen; theme song of the 1957-1958 NBC detective series, Meet McGraw, starring Frank Lovejoy)
"Dream" (1943) (words and music by Johnny Mercer)
"Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" (1944) (music by Harold Arlen)
"Out of This World" (1945) (music by Harold Arlen)
"Laura" (1945) (music by David Raksin)
"Come Rain Or Come Shine" (1946) (music by Harold Arlen)
"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" (1946) (music by Harold Arlen)
"Autumn Leaves" (1947) (music by Joseph Kosma)
"Glow Worm" (1952) (music Paul Lincke)
"Satin Doll" (1953) (music by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn)
"Midnight Sun" (1954) (music by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke)
"Something's Gotta Give" (1954) (words and music by Johnny Mercer)
"Jubilation T. Cornpone" (1956) (music by Gene de Paul)
"I'm Past My Prime" (1956) (music by Gene de Paul)
"Moon River" (1961) (music by Henry Mancini)
"Days of Wine and Roses" (1962) (music by Henry Mancini)
"I Wanna Be Around" (1962) (words and music by Johnny Mercer and Sadie Vimmerstedt)
"Charade" (1963) (music by Henry Mancini)
"Lorna" (1964) (music by Mort Lindsey)
"Emily" (1964) (music by Johnny Mandel)
"Summer Wind" (1965) (music by Henry Mayer)
"Whistling Away The Dark" (1970) (music by Henry Mancini; from the film Darling Lili)
"Drinking Again" (with Doris Tauber)
"When October Goes" (music by Barry Manilow)

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Featured recording “Johnny mercer Collector's Series”

Johnny mercer Collector's Series
Capitol Records (1989)

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