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Johnny Mercer

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October 30, 1994
Ginger Mercer, 85, the widow of songwriter Johnny Mercer, who was founding vice president of Capitol Records. The former Broadway dancer, who married Mercer in 1931, was credited with dubbing the company "Capitol." She was president of Johnny Mercer Music Publishing Inc., and also president of the nonprofit Johnny Mercer Foundation.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 17, 2013 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
In her prolific career, singer Margaret Whiting recorded 500 songs, including such signature hits as "It Might as Well Be Spring," "That Old Black Magic" and "Baby It's Cold Outside. " Along with such legends as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, Whiting was regarded as one of the premiere interpreters of what is known as the Great American Songbook - songs written by such renowned composers and lyricists of the 20th century as George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting, Margaret's father.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2011 | By Don Heckman, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Margaret Whiting, a pop singer for television, film, cabaret and Broadway whose recordings of such standards as "That Old Black Magic" and "Come Rain or Come Shine" sold millions of copies in the 1940s and '50s, has died. She was 86. Whiting died Monday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J., said Jordan Strohl, administrator for the retirement home. The cause was not given. Blessed with a distinctive voice and a warm, insightful singing style, Whiting had a career that stretched over seven decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2012 | Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Time
Andy Williams' signature hit song from the early 1960s was no accident of timing. Audrey Hepburn sang it first in the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and it was nominated for an Oscar. But when the producers of the Academy Awards show asked Williams to perform "Moon River" on the 1962 broadcast, his record label hatched a plan. With four weeks till air time, Williams recorded an album featuring "Moon River" and other "great movie themes. " It was rushed into stores on Oscar day and by the next morning was on its way to being a hit. Williams, 84, whose soothing baritone and laid-back style made him one of America's top vocalists from the 1950s into the 1970s, died Tuesday at his home in Branson, Mo., his family said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 1997 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
We'll be hearing a lot more from Johnny Mercer in the next several days. The music of the fabled composer-lyricist, who died in 1976, figures prominently in the movie adaptation of John Berendt's 1994 book, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil," which is set in Mercer's birthplace of Savannah, Ga. Directed by Clint Eastwood and scheduled for release Friday, the murder-mystery boasts a soundtrack with Tony Bennett, k.d.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2007 | Robert Hilburn, Special to The Times
Johnny Mercer is one of the most celebrated lyricists in American pop music, and it's no wonder when you consider just a fraction of his more than 1,000 songs: "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "That Old Black Magic," "Moon River" and "Blues in the Night." But there's another valuable side of Mercer that is showcased in a delightful and revealing CD boxed set from Mosaic Records: Mercer the singer.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2009 | Susan King
Clint Eastwood first became familiar with the work of lyricist Johnny Mercer as a kid growing up in San Francisco in the 1930s and '40s. "We only had radio at that time," he says, adding with a laugh, "I am dating myself. You would listen to the radio a lot and Johnny Mercer would appear. He was always singing with somebody like Bing Crosby. Everybody talked about the songs. At that time in life you didn't know who wrote the songs, you just knew if you liked them or not." Suffice it to say that millions of people liked what they heard.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 1996 | Don Heckman, Don Heckman is The Times' jazz writer
Savannah, Ga., is a grand old Southern city, resolutely looking inward, its greenery-fringed squares filled with elegant houses and stately facades. But John Berendt's "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" describes a darker world behind the Spanish moss-decked live oak trees and the heavy evening mists.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2012
Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer won the Oscar for original song for "Moon River" from 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's. " Mancini also had another nomination in that same category that year with lyricist Mack David. What was the song and what film did it come from? "Bachelor in Paradise" from "Bachelor in Paradise. "
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 1998
In his Nov. 20 review of Charles Aznavour's performance, Don Heckman attributes the tune "When the World Was Young" to Aznavour when in fact it was written by Johnny Mercer and M. Philippe-Gerard. Heckman likely is referring to the Aznavour tune "Yesterday, When I Was Young." LAWRENCE FRANKLEY Los Angeles
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2012
Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer won the Oscar for original song for "Moon River" from 1961's "Breakfast at Tiffany's. " Mancini also had another nomination in that same category that year with lyricist Mack David. What was the song and what film did it come from? "Bachelor in Paradise" from "Bachelor in Paradise. "
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2011 | By Don Heckman, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Margaret Whiting, a pop singer for television, film, cabaret and Broadway whose recordings of such standards as "That Old Black Magic" and "Come Rain or Come Shine" sold millions of copies in the 1940s and '50s, has died. She was 86. Whiting died Monday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood, N.J., said Jordan Strohl, administrator for the retirement home. The cause was not given. Blessed with a distinctive voice and a warm, insightful singing style, Whiting had a career that stretched over seven decades.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2010 | Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Gene Lees, a jazz historian and critic known for his pugnacious, highly personal essays and biographies of such jazz greats as Oscar Peterson, Woody Herman and Johnny Mercer, died Thursday at his home in Ojai. He was 82. Lees had struggled for many years with heart disease, said family friend Leslie A. Westbrook. FOR THE RECORD: Gene Lees obituary: The obituary of jazz historian and critic Gene Lees in Saturday's LATExtra section misspelled the first name of his son, Philip, as Phillippe.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 4, 2009 | Susan King
Clint Eastwood first became familiar with the work of lyricist Johnny Mercer as a kid growing up in San Francisco in the 1930s and '40s. "We only had radio at that time," he says, adding with a laugh, "I am dating myself. You would listen to the radio a lot and Johnny Mercer would appear. He was always singing with somebody like Bing Crosby. Everybody talked about the songs. At that time in life you didn't know who wrote the songs, you just knew if you liked them or not." Suffice it to say that millions of people liked what they heard.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 18, 2007 | Robert Hilburn, Special to The Times
Johnny Mercer is one of the most celebrated lyricists in American pop music, and it's no wonder when you consider just a fraction of his more than 1,000 songs: "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)," "Come Rain or Come Shine," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "That Old Black Magic," "Moon River" and "Blues in the Night." But there's another valuable side of Mercer that is showcased in a delightful and revealing CD boxed set from Mosaic Records: Mercer the singer.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 2006 | Geoff Boucher
AFTER a certain age, anthems reveal more about their audiences than their creators. Take "Hooray for Hollywood," a jaunty and apparently indestructible tune that orchestras everywhere (especially those employed by awards show producers) use to instantly conjure up the glamour and glory of Tinseltown. On closer inspection, though, it's not exactly the pretty postcard most people think. * Hooray for Hollywood! Where you're terrific if you're even good!
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 27, 2012 | Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Time
Andy Williams' signature hit song from the early 1960s was no accident of timing. Audrey Hepburn sang it first in the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and it was nominated for an Oscar. But when the producers of the Academy Awards show asked Williams to perform "Moon River" on the 1962 broadcast, his record label hatched a plan. With four weeks till air time, Williams recorded an album featuring "Moon River" and other "great movie themes. " It was rushed into stores on Oscar day and by the next morning was on its way to being a hit. Williams, 84, whose soothing baritone and laid-back style made him one of America's top vocalists from the 1950s into the 1970s, died Tuesday at his home in Branson, Mo., his family said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 1987 | DEBORAH CAULFIELD, Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Johnny Mercer was remembered this week in New York during a tribute to the late songwriter--the first person ever to win four Best Song Oscars ("On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe," 1946; "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," 1951; "Moon River," 1961; "Days of Wine and Roses," 1962). Co-hosted by Cher and Henry Mancini, the two-hour show at the Waldorf-Astoria, "Mercer and the Movies," included live performances and movie clips featuring Mercer's songs.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 28, 2003 | Susan Reiter, Special to The Times
One of the more intriguing "lost" musicals of Broadway's golden age has been reborn 57 years later as a major new work in the repertory of Dance Theatre of Harlem. The 1946 "St. Louis Woman," with a majestic Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer score, was recorded in aborted form and adapted into an unsuccessful opera. But after 113 performances, it joined the ranks of short-lived shows with strong music and a weak book whose original orchestrations were scattered to the winds.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 2001 | GLENN GAMBOA, NEWSDAY
Though many titles could be attached to Billy Joel, he proudly calls himself a songwriter first. "We know it all stems from the music first," Joel said while taking a break from preparations for recording his first classical music CD. "Without the song, the singer has nothing to sing. The recording artist has nothing to record. The song is the first idea. It all starts with us. We're the troublemakers."
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