Mercer, Johnny

Mercer, Johnny
orig. John Herndon Mercer

born Nov. 18, 1909, Savannah, Ga., U.S.
died June 25, 1976, Bel Air, Calif.

U.S. songwriter.

After moving to New York City in the late 1920s, Mercer began to write lyrics while supporting himself as an actor. He later joined Paul Whiteman's orchestra as singer and master of ceremonies. In 1939 he joined Benny Goodman's Camel Caravan radio show. In 1942 Mercer cofounded Capitol Records. On Broadway, he collaborated with Harold Arlen on St. Louis Woman (1946) and Saratoga (1959) and also provided lyrics for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Li'l Abner (1956), and Foxy (1964). His songs for films won four Academy Awards. He collaborated with composers such as Hoagy Carmichael, Henry Mancini, Jerome Kern, and Jimmy Van Heusen and is credited with more than 1,000 lyrics, including those for "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive," "One for My Baby," "Autumn Leaves," and "Moon River."

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▪ American composer, vocalist, and businessman
byname of  John Herndon Mercer  
born Nov. 18, 1909, Savannah, Ga., U.S.
died June 25, 1976, Bel Air, Calif.

      American lyricist, vocalist, and composer who contributed to many Broadway musical productions and Hollywood films.

      Educated in Virginia, Mercer arrived in New York City in the late 1920s and acted in bit parts until his collaboration with Everett Miller on “Out of Breath and Scared to Death of You” was accepted for the revue Garrick Gaieties (1930). Mercer used his wit and Southern background to produce clever lyrics that could be breezy, romantic, or full of local colour. He worked through music publishers until 1934, when he joined Paul Whiteman's orchestra as master of ceremonies and featured vocalist, continuing meanwhile to write for motion-picture musicals. In 1939 he joined Benny Goodman's “Camel Caravan” radio show.

      In 1942 Mercer founded Capitol Records with two partners, serving as talent scout and company president. For the Broadway stage, he collaborated with Harold Arlen on St. Louis Woman (1946) and Saratoga (1959) and wrote lyrics to Gene DePaul's score for Li'l Abner (1956) and to Robert Emmett Dolan's music for Texas, Li'l Darlin' (1949), and Foxy (1964). He also continued to write lyrics for such films as Charade (1963), Barefoot in the Park (1967), and Darling Lili (1970). He was the first president of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

      Credited with over 1,000 lyrics, Mercer collaborated with such composers as Hoagy Carmichael, Harry Warren, Henry Mancini, Richard Whiting, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Jimmy McHugh, and Jimmy Van Heusen to produce many enduring popular songs. They include “Lazy Bones,” “I'm an Old Cowhand,” “Goody Goody,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “Hooray for Hollywood,” “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby,” “Blues in the Night,” “That Old Black Magic,” “Laura,” “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Moon River,” “Charade,” and “Days of Wine and Roses.”

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mercer, Johnny — orig. John Herndon Mercer (18 nov. 1909, Savannah, Ga., EE.UU.–25 jun. 1976, Bel Air, Cal.). Compositor de canciones estadounidense. Después de mudarse a Nueva York a fines de la década de 1920, comenzó a escribir letras de canciones mientras… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Johnny Mercer — hacia 1947 Datos generales …   Wikipedia Español

  • Johnny Mercer — [Johnny Mercer] (1909–76) an American who wrote the words to more than 1 000 popular songs. They include Jeepers Creepers (1938), That Old Black Magic (1942), Laura (1945), Come Rain or Come Shine (1946 …   Useful english dictionary

  • Johnny — or Johnnie is the diminutive form of the common English name John.Johnny may also refer to: a cat s liver * Johnny (film) (2003), a Tollywood film directed by Pawan Kalyan * Johnny Bravo a Cartoon Network s original series. * Johnnie (novel), a… …   Wikipedia

  • Johnny Mercer — For other people of the same name, see John Mercer (disambiguation). Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer, ca. 1947 Background information …   Wikipedia

  • Johnny Mercer —  Ne doit pas être confondu avec John Mercer. Johnny Mercer, New York, autour d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • mercer — /merr seuhr/, n. Chiefly Brit. a dealer in textile fabrics; dry goods merchant. [1150 1200; ME < AF; OF mercier merchant, equiv. to merz merchandise ( < L merx, acc. mercem) + ier IER2; see ER2] * * * (as used in expressions) Hughes James Mercer… …   Universalium

  • Johnny — /jon ee/, n., pl. Johnnies for 1 3. 1. (sometimes l.c.) a familiar term of address for a man or boy. 2. (sometimes l.c.) Slang. a short, collarless gown that is fastened in back and is worn by hospital patients, persons being examined in a doctor …   Universalium

  • Johnny — (as used in expressions) Bench, Johnny (Lee) Carson, Johnny Cash, Johnny Hodges, Johnny Mercer, Johnny Unitas, Johnny Weissmuller, Johnny …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Mercer — (as used in expressions) Hughes, (James Mercer) Langston Mercer, Johnny John Herndon Mercer …   Enciclopedia Universal

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