Portrait of Johnny: The Life of John Herndon Mercer
(Book). Now in paperback, a wonderful bio of America's great lyricist who wrote "Moon River" and "Satin Doll" A poignant, candid portrait of a great American lyricist of the 20th century, Portrait of Johnny The Life of John Herndon Mercer is also a deeply personal memoir by one of Johnny Mercer's best friends. "Moon River," "Black Magic," "Laura," "Satin Doll" the honor roll of Mercer's songs is endless. Both Oscar Hammerstein II and Alan Jay Lerner called him the greatest lyricist in the English language, and he was perhaps the best-loved and certainly the best-known songwriter of his generation. In music historian and songwriter Gene Lees, Mercer has his perfect biographer, who deals tactfully but directly with his complicated relations with his domineering mother, his tormenting wife, Ginger, and Judy Garland, the great love of his life.
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Portrait of Johnny: the life of John Herndon MercerUser Review - Book Verdict
A former editor of Down Beat , Lees brings his expertise in jazz and American popular music to this entertaining biography of lyricist and performer Johnny Mercer (1909-76). Drawing on the unpublished manuscript of Mercer's autobiography and interviews with the artist's relatives and friends, Lees creates a fully realized study of the mercurial songwriter who provided texts for some of the 20th century's most memorable songs. Mercer's strong family ties in Savannah, GA; his long, if bumpy, marriage to Ginger Meehan; his "secret" affair with Judy Garland; and his cofounding of Capitol Records are among the factors chronicled here. Th is is a well-written and engrossing narrative; however, Philip Furia's recent Skylark: The Life and Times of Johnny Mercer covers the same territory, and its quotes and stories overlap with Lees's to a great extent. This title is distinguished from Furia's by the inclusion of Mercer's text and more extended family excerpts--Mercer's daughter, in fact, asked Lees to write this book--but either would be sufficient for most libraries. Recommended where demand dictates, especially for American pop music and Southern regional culture collections.--Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH
Review: Portrait of Johnny: The Life of John Herndon MercerUser Review - Goodreads
Excellent biography of a terrific songwriter. The best of the Mercer biographies, and, so I was told by a member of Mercer's family, it is the biography that is the most accurate in terms of fact.
Our Huckleberry Friend: The Life, Times, and Lyrics of Johnny Mercer
No preview available - 1982