Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Evening With Johnny Mercer
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Not what I expected
Ronald Villiotti | Castle Rock, CO USA | 12/19/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed the format of the live show, but all the songs are presented in a medley format. Lots of songs,all sung by Mercer, but only the first part of every song is performed."
A unique perspective
david akerly | Lansing, Michigan | 02/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're looking for a comprehensive overview of Mercer's contribution to the American Songbook..look elsewhere. However, if its insight into the lyricist himself, in his own words that you're after, this CD will more than provide. Recorded at the "Y" concert hall in New York City in 1971, it runs slightly less than an hour in length and much of Mercer's greatest songs are presented, mainly in medley format. But that final medley is a real eye-opener. If you ever had doubt about his contribution to 20th century popular music, this medley alone will put them to rest for good. The easy-going personality of Mercer shines through, and he's clearly at ease with the moment here. The live interviews tend to illuminate the artist, rather than get in the way. The only drawback is the lack of individual tracks, which make this disc hard in terms of picking and choosing songs. But that's part of the attraction, too.
So take an hour, kick back--and let it play straight through. If you weren't already a fan, you will be. If you were a fan, you're in for a rare treat, indeed."
Simply Put - A Lesson In American Musical History
david akerly | 10/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In terms of the album, there's not much I can add to the words of reviewer David Akerly. I will add that the roots for this album go back to 1971 when Johnny laid out a unique retrospective of his illustrious career specifically for the Lyrics and Lyricists Series which also included a comprehensive collection of the best of the many, many songs he wrote and, with Margaret Whiting, Roberta Sands and pianist Richard Leonard in tow, it was recorded "live" and presented as An Evening With Johnny Mercer, produced by Maurice Levin.
All John Herndon Mercer (born November 18, 1909 in Savannah, Georgia) did, as a performer, was put 29 songs onto the Pop charts, two of which crossed over to the R&B charts after their introduction in 1942, and also appeared in a number of movies early on in his career. He was also a co-founder of Capitol Records in 1942. But it was as a songwriter that he excelled, including many that were featured in movies and for those he received 19 Academy Award nominations and won four time for these classics (music writer in brackets): On the Atchison, Topeka and The Santa Fe (Harry Warren) in 1946 from the film The Harvey Girls; In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening (Hoagy Carmichael) in 1951 from Here Comes The Groom; Moon River (Henry Mancini) in 1961 from Breakfast at Tiffany's; and The Days of Wine and Roses (Henry Mancini) in 1962 from the film of the same name.
Other tunes he wrote read like an index to any catalogue of great American music and many in this list appear in this CD (again, music writers in brackets): Lazy Bones (Hoagy Carmichael); P.S. I Love You (Gordon Jenkins); Goody Goody (Matty Malneck); I'm An Old Cowhand; Hooray for Hollywood (Richard A. Whiting); Too Marvelous For Words (Richard A. Whiting); You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby (Harry Warren); Jeepers, Creepers! (Harry Warren); And The Angels Sing (Ziggy Elman); Day In, Day Out (Rube Bloom); Fools Rush In [Where Angels Fear To Tread] (Rube Bloom); Blues In The Night (Harold Arlen); I Remember You (Victor Schertzinger); Tangerine (Victor Schertzinger); This Time The Dream's On Me" (Harold Arlen); That Old Black Magic (Harold Arlen); Skylark (Hoagy Carmichael); One for My Baby [And One More for the Road] (Harold Arlen; Dream; Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive (Harold Arlen); Out Of This World (Harold Arlen); Laura (David Raksin); Come Rain Or Come Shine (Harold Arlen); Autumn Leaves" (Joseph Kosma); Glow Worm (Paul Lincke); Satin Doll (Duke Ellington); Something's Gotta Give; Charade (Henry Mancini); The Summer Wind (Henry Mayer).
Those are just some of his approximately 1,000 published songs, a legacy cemented when, in 1969, he helped found the National Academy of Popular Music's Songwriters Hall of Fame. Needless to say, he's a charter member. Another songwriter of some considerable renown, Paul McCartney, contacted Johnny in 1975 to see if he would be interested in working together but by then Johnny was seriously ill with an inoperable brain tumor. He passed away at age 66 on June 25, 1976.
A legend whose fabulous career is nicely summed up in this unique CD which also has six fascinating pages of notes written in October 1977 by Edward Jablonski, author of Harold Arlen: Happy With The Blues, An Encyclopedia Of American Music, and Gershwin. Other albums produced in this series, and also sub-titled An Evening With, cover Fred Ebb and John Kander; Sammy Cahn; Jerry Herman; Sheldon Harnick; and Alan Jay Lerner."