Biography: Johnny Mercer was a singer and songwriter, especially prolific as a lyricist who wrote about 1,500 songs. Born in Georgia, he found his way to New York at the end of the vaudeville era. He sang with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, and worked in Tin Pan Alley, eventually making his way to Hollywood and working in film.
He worked with many composers, including Hoagy Carmichael; Harry Warren; Harold Arlen; Jimmy Van Heusen; Jerome Kern; Duke Ellington; and Henry Mancini. Some of his popular titles are: "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby"; "And The Angels Sing"; "Tangerine"; "That Old Black Magic"; "Skylark"; "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)"; and Academy Award winners "Moon River: and "Days of Wine And Roses".
He co-founded Capitol Records in 1942, and provided songs to their artists, as well as furthering his own singing career.
He received 19 Academy Award nominations, winning 4. In 1980, the Songwriters Hall of Fame named their top prize after him. In 1996, the US Postal Service honored him with a postage stamp.
- 1931-06-08 Songwriter Johnny Mercer (21) weds chorus girl Ginger Meehan (21) in New York City
- 1946-03-30 Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's musical "St Louis Woman", starring Pearl Bailey and featuring the Nicholas Brothers, opens at Martin Beck Theater, NYC; runs for 113 performances
- 1951-11-01 Johnny Mercer's "Top Banana", starring Phil Silvers, opens at Winter Garden Theater, NYC; runs for 356 performances, winning a Tony Award
- 1956-11-10 Gene de Paul and Johnny Mercer's musical "Li'l Abner", based on the hillbilly comic strip, opens at the St. James Theatre, NYC; runs for 693 performances
- 1980-08-25 Stage adaptation of Harry Warren and Al Dubin's film musical "42nd Street", directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, with additional songs by Warren and Johnny Mercer, opens at Winter Garden Theater, NYC; runs for 3486 performances and 2 Tony Awrd wins