The legendary songwriter Johnny Mercer's 100th birthday would have been November 18, 2009. Celebrations of his musical legacy, which encompassed more that 1500 songs and countless awards, continue through November with the publication of 'The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer', the premiere of 'Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me' on TCM, all-star performances at New York's Carnegie Hall and 92nd Street Y as well as in Chicago and Savannah, and the unveiling of a life-size statue in his Savannah hometown, as well as the debut of Johnny Mercer YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Knopf Doubleday has just released 'The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer' by Robert Kimball, Miles Krueger, Barry Day and Johnny Mercer, which contains the texts to more than 1,200 of his lyrics, several hundred of them published for the first time.
On November 4th, TCM will premiere 'Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me,' executive-produced by Clint Eastwood. The 100-minute special features performances by Mercer himself and by Ella Fitzgerald, Fred Astaire, Barbra Streisand, Lena Horne, Nat King Cole, Audrey Hepburn as well as interviews with singers, songwriters, historians, family members and others who knew or loved Mercer. Produced by Rhapsody Productions in association with TCM, Arena/BBC and Warner Home Video and commissioned by the Johnny Mercer Foundation, the special is produced and directed by Bruce Ricker (Tony Bennett: The Music Never Ends). TCM will complement the premiere with presentations of classic films including Mercer songs every Wednesday night in November and will devote the entire day's schedule to his work on November 18th.
On November 3rd, the documentary's companion CD will be released by New Line Records. It contains Mercer favorites such as "That Old Black Magic," "I Wanna Be Around" and "Dream" performed by Mercer and other artists including Queen Latifah, Dr. John, Tony Bennett, Bono. Ray Charles, Michael Feinstein, and Jamie Cullum.
Musical tributes to Johnny Mercer will happen November 8th at the Chicago Humanities Festival and November 15th in Savannah, Georgia, and on November 18th in Savannah, the Friends of Johnny Mercer will unveil a life-size bronze statue of Johnny Mercer by sculptor Susie Chisholm, commissioned in commemoration of his centennial.
Chicago Humanities Festival <http://www.chicagohumanities.org/Genres/Arts-And-Architecture/2009-William-Greta-Wiley-Flory-Tribute-Johnny-Mercer.aspx>
Friends Of Johnny Mercer <http://www.friendsofjohnnymercer.com>
The night of November 18th, New York's-92nd St Y will present 'I Remember You: A Lyrics Lyricists Centennial Tribute to Johnny Mercer.' Co-artistic directors Robert Kimball and Deborah Grace Winer will feature such notable performers as Karen Akers, Lucie Arnaz, Barbara Carroll, James Naughton, Billy Stritch and Julie Wilson.
On November 20th, The New York Pops will present 'Too Marvelous for Words: A Johnny Mercer Centennial Concert' at Carnegie Hall, featuring Ann Hampton Callaway and the kids of Camp Broadway, which the Johnny Mercer Foundation supports.
Mercer fans who want to see and hear even more Mercer anytime can check out his YouTube Channel, which features 100 favorites by Mercer performed by artists expected (Sinatra) and unexpected (Iggy Pop). http://www.youtube.com/user/JohnnyMercer100 <http://www.youtube.com/user/JohnnyMercer100 >
For more about Johnny Mercer, visit http://johnnymercerfoundation.com