Portrait of Johnny: The Life of John Herndon Mercer

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Hal Leonard Corporation, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 360 pages
2 Reviews
(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 Mercer

User Review  - Not Available - 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 Drawing on the unpublished ... Read full review

Review: Portrait of Johnny: The Life of John Herndon Mercer

User Review  - Keith - 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. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Gene Lees is the publisher of the Jazzletter. He is also a song lyricist and the author of more than a dozen volumes of jazz history and criticism.

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