Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Johnny Mercer @ 100

John Herndon "Johnny" Mercer was born 100 years ago today. Though he died in 1976, his gorgeous standards have had a life beyond his lifetime. He is best known as a lyricist, but he also composed music and recorded songs as a pop singer. Mercer wrote the lyrics to more than a thousand songs, including some for film and Broadway shows. Some of his most popular tunes were "Too Marvelous for Words", "Hooray for Hollywood", "Jeepers Creepers", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Fools Rush In","I Remember You" (written about Judy Garland), "Blues in the Night", "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", "That Old Black Magic", "Come Rain Or Come Shine", "Skylark", "Moon River" and my personal favorite, "Autumn Leaves", based on the French song "Les Feuilles Mortes". Mercer received nineteen Academy Award nominations and was a co-founder of Capitol Records. His music also played an important role in the book and film version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.Happy Birthday, Johnny.

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