Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Johnny Mercer Tribute Compilation (2009)

Today is the centennial celebration of Johnny Mercer's birth. Johnny Mercer (1909 - 1976) was a singer and songwriter. As a songwriter, he was mostly known as a lyricist but he also wrote music. He wrote over 1000 songs, many of which are in the Great American Songbook. He received nineteen Academy Award nominations, and won four. He also recorded many of his songs, as well as songs written by others. I put together this compilation of thirty-four songs in his honor and hope you enjoy them as much as I. He sings five of the songs on this compilation, three of which he didn't write (marked with ^). He wrote the lyrics for all the other songs that I've included, and also wrote the music for five of them (marked with *). The last song I've included was recorded after his death. Johnny's widow gave some unfinished lyrics to Barry Manilow, and Barry then wrote the music for "When October Goes." Enjoy!

Track listing for Johnny Mercer Tribute Compilation:

1. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive - Johnny Mercer
2. Goody Goody - Paul Petersen *
3. Too Marvelous for Words - Anthony Perkins
4. You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby - Perry Como
5. And the Angels Sing - Benny Goodman & His Orchestra
6. Day In, Day Out - Gene Barry
7. Fools Rush In - Tony Martin
8. Love of My Life - Shirley Jones & Jack Cassidy
9. Blues in the Night - Julie London
10. I Remember You - Doris Day
11. Baby, It's Cold Outside - Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer ^
12. Tangerine - Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra
13. Hit the Road to Dreamland - Betty Hutton
14. That Old Black Magic - Louis Prima & Keely Smith
15. Skylark - Linda Ronstadt
16. Dearly Beloved - Dinah Shore with Paul Weston & His Orchestra
17. Strip Polka - Myron Floren *
18. One for My Baby (And One More for the Road) - Eydie Gorme
19. Dream - Steve Allen *
20. G.I. Jive - Johnny Mercer *
21. Laura - Johnny Mathis
22. I Lost My Sugar in Salt Lake City - Johnny Mercer ^
23. On the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe - Woody Herman & His Orchestra
24. Autumn Leaves - George Chakiris
25. Something's Gotta Give - Lorne Greene *
26. Moon River - Andy Williams
27. Days of Wine and Roses - Wayne Newton
28. Drinking Again - Dinah Washington
29. Charade - Bobby Darin
30. Emily - Andy Williams
31. Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra
32. Whistling Away the Dark - Henry Mancini
33. San Fernando Valley - Johnny Mercer with The Berries ^
34. When October Goes - Barry Manilow


mel said...

Well done, Esther!

Thank you for this, obviously a labor of love.

Timmy said...

We recently watched the new documentary about Johnny Mercer on P.B.S. & realized how much of an impact he had on popular music during all those years. I hope he is never forgotten. This is a great sampling of his work. Thanx...

vo5vo said...

Hi, What a superb compilation.
You should work for a record studio!
Many thanks to the hostess with the mostess!!

The Snappy Sneezer said...

Hey thanks for all your stuff I am learning a lot here. I was wondering though who was doing Wine and Roses as she is not Wayne Newton.

Esther said...

Thanks to everyone for your kind comments! I had a great time putting this compilation together.

Snappy Sneezer - that is indeed Wayne Newton, when he was quite young and before his voice changed! That came off his "The Best of Wayne Newton" album from 1967.

Thanks for visiting!

vilstef said...

This is a really exceptional collection. Thanks, Esther!

For those interesting in Mr Mercer's life, there is a really fine bio of him by Gene Lees, who has also written some very engaging essays on jazz history & jazz musicians. He also did a bio of Woody Herman.

iggy said...

Thank you so much for this marvelous tribute to the great Moon River Man. My all time favorite composer, Johnny was a much better singer than he received credit for, and there's proof right here. All the best to you.