Leaves...the songs of Johnny Mercer]
Jacintha ( who was born and raised in Singapore) has
created this ten track CD on the Groove Note Label (GRV1006-2)1999, with ten
Mercer songs. "And the Angels Sing", "Skylark","One for
My Baby","Midnight Sun", "Autumn Leaves", "Days of
Wine and Rises", "I Remember You", "Trav'lin' Light,
"Something's Gotta Give", "Moon River".
READING LYRICS: Robert Gottlieb and
More than 1000 lyrics, spanning 1900 to 1975. (Pantheon
Books, October 2000). 706 pages.11 pages devoted to Johnny Mercer, with 30 of
his lyrics for the most popular songs. Copious devotion to his contemporaries as
well as predecessors. Excellent addition for your general reference library.
OXFORD COMPANION TO JAZZ
Oxford University Press, November 2000
One of the most frequent questions I am posed is which books
do you suggest that I acquire for my musical library. A couple of weeks ago an
important 852 page volume of 60 essays was published by OXFORD.
This edition does have some bits of information on Johnny
Mercer and his contemporaries, but it is more important to read for its general
overview of JAZZ and to learn about what influenced musical life in America
during the Jazz era. The "larger picture"....contains insights by Max
Morath, Richard M. Sudhalter, Loren Schoenberg, Gene Lees (Mercerphiles will be
thrilled with this piece), Gene Seymour, Will Friedwald--talking about Jazz
Singing Since the 40's.., Gunther Schuller, Dan Morgenstern, Don Heckman...
Over 100 photos, collectible in their own right, are
Bill Kirchner, a winner of both Grammy and NAIRD Indie
awards, teaches jazz history at the New School University in NYC.
"Too Marvelous For
Words - The Songs of Johnny Mercer"
Lee's latest release (www.LMLMusic.com)
is a perfect blend of both the popular Mercer standards and some "unsung
Mercer"- pieces like Pineapple Pete and The Bathtub Ran Over Again... that
Lee is reintroducing to today's audiences.
John Boswell's arrangements
and expert accompaniment make this divine CD a requirement for the
Mercer Aficionado. Recorded live at the Cinegrill in Hollywood, with outstanding
sound and mixing,--- this a must buy CD for Holiday 2000 giving.
Sink into your most
comfortable chair, enjoy your favorite beverage, and turn on your best audio
system, Relax for an hour of Lee and Johnny...like you have never heard it. Be
there live at the Cinegrill and enjoy, relax!
November 27, 2000
My Shining Hour
Too Marvelous For Words
Day In, Day Out
The Air Minded Executive
I Thought About You
Any Place I Hang My Hat Is
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
Jeepers Creepers/Glow Worm
Lazy Bones/I'm an Old Cowhand
Come Rain or Come Shine
Blues in the Night/Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home
Days of Wine and Roses
I Wanna be Around
I remember You/Skylark
When October Goes
Whistling Away the Dark/ Autumn leaves
Out of this World
The Dreams of
This is Monica Mancini's first Mercer album on
the Concord label. Fellow Johnny
Mercer fans will recognize the Concord Label, started by Carl Jefferson as the
home to Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Scott Hamilton, Gene Harris, Ken Peplowski,
Susannah McCorkle, Marian McPartland (including her wonderful JAZZ PIANO CD with
Monica's dad - Henry Mancini), Carol Sloane, George Shearing and a bevy of
Monica now joins this esteemed circle of
Almost two years ago she did another album, on
another label with some of her dad Henry's and Johnny's pop hits:
"Moon River", "Days of Wine and Roses", "Whistling Away
the Dark", "Charade", and "Moment to Moment".
treats us to an album with twelve Johnny Mercer numbers:
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive (
Something Tells Me (Manilow)
The Weekend of a Private Secretary (Hanighen)
With My Lover Besides Me (Manilow)
When October Goes (Manilow)
On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
When the Meadow Was Bloomin' (Manilow)
It Had Better Be Tonight -Meglio
Stasera (Mancini)....as in...Pink Panther
Love Is Where You Find It (Manilow)
At Last (Manilow)
Just Remember (Manilow)
Fellow Mercerphiles will appreciate the
arrangements and Orchestra personnel that Mancini and her husband Gregg Field
have put together. A great group of musicians made this studio gig, come alive
on this high quality CD - as I would have expected nothing less of the folks now
running the Concord label.
Monica's rendition of Barry Manilow's
"When October Goes" was my personal fav, closely followed by
"Skylark" and "The Weekend of a Private Secretary" . It has
been over 60 years since Mildred Bailey made "Secretary" a household
hummer, remember Red Norvo and his Orchestra and Jimmy Dorsey too!
Mancini does an outstanding job with these
Mercer standards. Johnny, Hank, Bing, Mel, Hoagy, and Ella are most likely
smiling down from the heavens at Monica- thanking her for passing the torch to
another generation of Mercerphiles.
Tells Me - is not the same as the 1938 Harry Warren piece (Bert
Firman and his British Orchestra/Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians/ Abe
Lyman and his Californians/ Russ Morgan and his in the Morgan Manner
orchestra/ Ruby Newman/ Jan Savitt and his Top Hatters/- remember
Is Where You Find It - should not be confused with the 1938 Pat
O'Brien, John Payne/Margaret Lindsay (and not to forget Johnnie Scat Davis
and Jimmie Fidler himself!) GARDEN OF THE MOON (Mercer-Al Dubin and Harry
Remember - is different from the 1937 tune of the same name by
Carl Sigman and Johnny. Henry Hall and his orchestra made that a hit
in the UK.
18 October 2000
BRADFORD CONNER & BENJAMIN SEARS
70 Allston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02134
fax: (617) 496-5515
CDs are $15; cassettes $10.
click here to visit http://www.benandbrad.com
Oakton Recordings has two new
releases in 2000.
Noel & Cole -
Together With Music
Benjamin Sears & Bradford Conner
and Valerie Anastasio & Tim Harbold - featuring Begin the Beguine, If Love
Were All, A Room With a View, and Brush Up Your Shakespeare
"A charming enthusiastic
pairing of two songwriters who like, unfortunately, then musical theatre will
never produce again" - BILLBOARD
Rest You Merry - A Holiday
Includes Silver Bells, Winter
Wonderland, Let It Snow! and first recordings of two lost Christmas Songs by
Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern!
Martha Tilton - the liltin' miss tilton..the
complete Capitol Sessions. Collectors
Choice Music, #72435-27205-2-1 ...44 tracks, includes "Moon
Dreams", "The Angels Cried", "I'm Old Fashioned",
"Every So Often", "A Fine Romance (Kern,Fields)"- duet with
Johnny Mercer, "Every So Often", "And the Angels Sing". Plus
37 others by other lyricists.
comments by Elizabeth Ahlfors of CitiCabaret.com
NAT KING COLE
Nat King Cole...the Incomparable Nat "King Cole". Volume II. The
second of a two volume set of rare performances from Nat's 1957 television series.
Includes live footage of Johnny Mercer, Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis,Jr, the Mills Bros.
and The Oscar Peterson Trio. Nelson Riddle Orchestra. B&W.50 minutes.
The Legends Of Entertainment
6855 Vineland Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91605
IT HAPPENED ON BROADWAY
You're sitting in your living room having a cozy little chat with
many of the living legends of Broadway. Their reminiscences are filled with
nostalgia for the Broadway that once was and sparkle with candor and wit about
Broadway in the present. This may sound like a highly unlikely occurrence, but
it's possible through the efforts of Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer in
their new book, It Happened on Broadway.
The Frommers have taken the time to glean stories from not only some of
Broadway's brightest stars, but from those we would not usually hear from. Among
these are critics, press agents, playwrights, costume designers, and stage
managers, just to mention a few. There are even stories from the owners of The
Drama Book Shop and Sardis. All of these personal stories form a rich mosaic
that makes the history of Broadway come alive.
An example of one of the stories included in the book is one told by press
agent Susan L. Schulman. It was the rehearsal for the twenty-fifth
anniversary of the Tony Awards, for an audience made up exclusively of TONY
Award-winning Broadway stars also appearing on the program. Yul Brynner
danced to Shall We Dance from the King and I, although he had not
performed it for a number of years. When he was through there was not a dry eye
in the house.
If there is anything missing from this book, perhaps it is that there is
little mention of Johnny Mercer and the wonderful lyrics he provided for shows
such as L'il Abner, Foxy, Top Banana, and the last stage creation dedicated to
his work, Dream. Choreographer, Wayne Cilento provides a lovely narrative about
how he developed his vision for Dream, but that is the extent of anything having
to do with Mercer.
The life force that fills this book is almost tangible and provides readers
with an extraordinary variety of Broadway memories. It Happened on Broadway is
well worth the price of admission. You'll want to "see" it again and
- It Happened on Broadway: An Oral History of the Great White Way.
- Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer
- Harcourt Brace ã 1998
By Sharon Taksler