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Johnny Mercer's hometown of Savannah, Ga., dedicated a monument to him on what would have been his 100th birthday.
Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
November 18, 2009 He wrote the words, and sometimes the music, for more than 1,500 songs, among them "Skylark," "Blues in the Night" and "Moon River." He had a few hits himself on Capitol Records — which he started. He was a great American lyricist, and today marks the 100th anniversary of his birth.
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November 18, 2009 Lyricist and composer Johnny Mercer — born Nov. 18, 1909 — wrote or co-wrote more than 1,000 songs, including American Songbook standards like "Skylark," "That Old Black Magic" and "Come Rain or Come Shine." His Academy Awards tally includes a statue for what's possibly his most famous tune, "Moon River." Fresh Air marks the anniversary of his birth with an in-studio concert starring Rebecca Kilgore and Dave Frishberg.
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Daryl Sherman visits Piano Jazz for a show in tribute to Johnny Mercer.
Courtesy of the artist
June 26, 2009 Piano Jazz celebrates the centennial of songwriter and lyricist Johnny Mercer. Pianist-singer and Mercer enthusiast Daryl Sherman brings her sophisticated swing and witty charm to the show for performances of "Too Marvelous for Words" and "Jeepers Creepers." McPartland joins in on one of her favorite Mercer tunes, "Skylark."
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Lester Young gave Billie Holiday her nickname: "Lady Day."
William P. Gottlieb/Library of Congress via flickr.com
April 23, 2009 Jazz has no shortage of celebrated masters. Every year brings an abundance of new milestones for record labels to celebrate. With that in mind, we present songs by six American jazz musicians who would have become centenarians in 2009, including Lester Young.
William L. Gottlieb/Library of Congress via flickr.com
January 9, 2008 The popularity of jazz in its golden age owes much to the great American songbook — to the great lyricists who set poetry to rhythm, and to the interpreters who created their individual takes on those words.
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June 17, 2006 At 65, Dr. John is best known for rhythm and blues and his voodoo charms. In a new album, Mercernary, he's taking Johnny Mercer's pop standards and mixing in his own brand of New Orleans funk.
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November 25, 2004 His book, Skylark: The Life and Times of Johnny Mercer, comes out in paperback Dec. 9. Furia documents the life of the legendary lyricist whose songs include Moon River, Come Rain or Come Shine and Skylark. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Mercer dominated the popular song charts. Furia is a professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He's also written biographies of Irving Berlin and Ira Gershwin.
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