Johnny Mercer

Biography

Born: November 18, 1909; Savannah, GA   Died: June 25, 1976; Los Angeles, CA  
Johnny Mercer's main claim to immortality is his incredible songwriting output, penning the lyrics or music and lyrics to roughly 1,500 songs. Marked by a sophisticated, occasionally whimsical mastery of language and rhymes, many of Mercer's songs have become standards regularly covered by jazz artists. Yet Mercer was also a successful singer, with a relaxed, Southern-accented, jazzy, rhythmically agile delivery that resulted in several major Read more hits in the 1940s. At first, Mercer was torn between acting and songwriting, but having failed to land a part in Garrick Gaities in 1930, he ended up writing his first hit, "Out of Breath, Scared to Death Of You," for the show. His first charted songwriting hit was Ted Lewis' 1933 recording of "Lazybones." By 1938 he was recording duets with Bing Crosby for Decca and the following year, he was on Benny Goodman's Camel Cavalcade radio program as a featured singer. In 1942, he, Glenn Wallichs and Buddy DeSylva founded Capitol Records, which would eventually become an industry behemoth, and Mercer reeled off a string of hits for his label, including "Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe," "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive," "Candy" and "Personality." "Atchison" is an especially good example of Mercer's flip, catchy, vocal style. While running Capitol, Mercer the talent scout attracted the likes of Nat Cole, Stan Kenton, Jo Stafford, Peggy Lee and Margaret Whiting to the label, where they had their greatest successes. Among Mercer's most durable lyrics -- a highly abbreviated list -- are those for "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)," "Blues in the Night," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "My Shining Hour," and "Early Autumn," and his many collaborators have included Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, Gordon Jenkins, and Harry Warren. He also contributed to the scores of seven Broadway musicals and several films. Following an album with Bobby Darin and collaborations with Henry Mancini in the early '60s, Mercer's career slowed down under the onslaught of rock & roll, but time has since reconfirmed his status as an American popular music giant. Read less
Browse 1-12 of 12 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Jewish Composers In America - The Zamir Chorale Of Boston
    Label: Zamir Chorale   Catalog: 917 Release Date: 05/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sholom Secunda,  Johnny Mercer,  Herman Wohl,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Conductor:  Joshua Jacobson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zamir Chorale Boston
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  • 2.
    Mario Lanza - The Toast Of Hollywood
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 374163 Release Date: 08/27/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Nicholas Brodszky,  Guy d' Hardelot,  Charles Gounod,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Lanza,  Elaine Malbin
    Conductor:  Ray Sinatra,  Constantin Callinicos
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra,  Studio Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Benny Goodman - Pure Gold
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 50973 Release Date: 07/07/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Benny Goodman,  Louis Prima,  Johnny Mercer,  Edgar Sampson  ... 
    Performer:  Benny Goodman,  Harry James,  Gene Krupa,  Martha Tilton  ... 
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  • 4.
    Masters Of The Big Bands - The Vocalists
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 66071 Release Date: 07/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Hoagy Carmichael,  Sam H. Stept,  Elmer Albrecht  ... 
    Performer:  Al Hibbler,  Billy Eckstine,  Marion Hutton,  Tex Beneke  ... 
    Conductor:  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  Earl Hines,  Glenn Miller,  Artie Shaw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Duke Ellington Orchestra,  Earl Hines Orchestra,  Modernaires  ... 
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  • 5.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music - The Hall Of Fame, Vol. 3
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5162 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nacio Herb Brown,  Victor Herbert,  Ron Goodwin,  José Belmonte  ... 
    Performer:  William Hill-Bowen
    Conductor:  Buddy Bregman,  Percy Faith,  David Carroll,  Philip Green  ... 
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  • 6.
    Mario Lanza - Original Album Classics
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 759218 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Sigmund Romberg,  Nicholas Brodszky,  Franz Lehár,  Walter Donaldson  ... 
    Performer:  Mario Lanza
    Conductor:  Constantin Callinicos,  Ray Sinatra,  George Stoll,  Henri René
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Studio Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Someone Talked! - Memories Of Wwii / William Bolcom, Robert White, Joan Morris
    Label: Equilibrium   Catalog: 95 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henderson, Luther, Jr.,  Irving Berlin,  Walter Kent,  Johnny Mercer  ... 
    Performer:  Joan Morris,  Robert White,  William Bolcom
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  • 8.
    I'll Be Seeing You / Shaw, Spivey Hall Children's Choir
    Label: Aca Digital   Catalog: 20101 Release Date: 03/04/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Sammy Fain,  Moses Hogan,  Traditional  ... 
    Conductor:  Martha Shaw
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spivey Hall Children's Choir
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  • 9.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - Beyond The Blue Horizon
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5129 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ivan Caryll,  Edward "Duke" Ellington,  George Melachrino,  Sidney Torch  ... 
    Performer:  Dave Goldberg
    Conductor:  Andre Kostelanetz,  George Melachrino,  Sidney Torch,  Leroy Holmes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Andre Kostelanetz Orchestra,  Melachrino Orchestra,  Sidney Torch Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Bluebird's Best - Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63928 Release Date: 05/21/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John DeVries,  Sammy Fain,  Irving Berlin,  Tom Adair  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Sinatra
    Conductor:  Tommy Dorsey,  Axel Stordahl
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pied Pipers,  Tommy Dorsey Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Top Hat & Tails / Eton Chapel College Choir
    Label: Herald Records   Catalog: 218 Release Date: 01/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Con Conrad,  Richard Rodgers,  George Gershwin,  Louis Jordan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eton College Chapel Choir
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