John Herndon Mercer (November 18, 1909 – June 25, 1976) was an American lyricist, songwriter, and singer. He was also a record label executive who co-founded Capitol Records with music industry businessman Buddy DeSylva and Glenn E. Wallichs.
He is best known as a Tin Pan Alley lyricist, but he also composed music. He was also a popular singer who recorded his own songs as well as songs written by others. From the mid-1930s through the mid-1950s, many of the songs Mercer wrote and performed were among the most popular hits of the time, including "Moon River", "Days of Wine and Roses", "Autumn Leaves", and "Hooray for Hollywood". He wrote the lyrics to more than 1,500 songs, including compositions for movies and Broadway shows. He received nineteen Oscar nominations, and won four Best Original Song Oscars.
Birth and Death Data: Born November 18th, 1909 (Savannah), Died June 25th, 1976 (Hollywood)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1929 - 1967
Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, vocalist, songwriter, composer
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 250 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-63112||10-in.||7/10/1930||Out of breath (And scared to death of you)||Frank Luther ; Victor Arden-Phil Ohman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BSHQ-72652||10-in.||6/7/1932||It's about time||Joe Haymes Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BSHQ-73103||10-in.||7/13/1932||Mardi gras||George Olsen and his Music ; Paul Small||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-73354||10-in.||9/1/1932||Thanksgiving||Hoagy Carmichael Orchestra ; Dick Robertson||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-73710||10-in.||9/29/1932||Satan's li'l lamb||Ethel Merman||Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-73770||10-in.||10/5/1932||Would'ja for a big red apple||Leo Reisman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-73771||10-in.||10/5/1932||Whistling for a kiss||Leo Reisman Orchestra ; George Wheeler||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BAVE-74340||10-in.||Oct. 1933||Perezosos||Orquesta Harold Mickey ; Larry Semon||Instrumental ensemble, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-76379||10-in.||6/5/1933||Lazy bones||Casa Loma Orchestra ; Glen Gray ; Walter Hunt||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-76608||10-in.||7/7/1933||Lazy bones||Connecticut Yankees ; Rudy Vallée||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-76789||10-in.||8/28/1933||Down a long, long road||Isham Jones Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-77166||10-in.||12/2/1933||You||Edgewater Beach Hotel Orchestra ; Harry Sosnik||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-77531||10-in.||8/23/1933||Lazy bones||Harold Arlen||Male vocal duet, with piano||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-77653||10-in.||9/13/1933||Lazy bones||Hoagy Carmichael||Male vocal solo, with piano||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-77841||10-in.||10/3/1933||Life's so complete||Isham Jones Orchestra ; Joe Martin||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
|Victor||BVE-78573||10-in.||11/22/1933||My old man||Hotel McAlpin Orchestra ; Sam Robbins||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-80486||10-in.||5/1/1934||Fool that I am||Edgewater Beach Hotel Orchestra ; Harry Sosnick||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-81076||10-in.||1/18/1934||You have taken my heart||Jerry Baker ; Hotel Governor Clinton Orchestra ; Enoch Light||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-81715||10-in.||2/16/1934||Fare-thee-well to Harlem||Johnny Mercer ; Paul Whiteman Orchestra ; Jack Teagarden||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet||vocalist, lyricist|
|Victor||BS-81910||10-in.||3/9/1934||Moon country||Hoagy Carmichael Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
|Victor||BS-81957||10-in.||3/19/1934||When a woman loves a man||Richard Himber ; Joey Nash ; Ritz-Carlton Hotel Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-82313||10-in.||4/13/1934||When a woman loves a man||De Marco Sisters ; Eddy Duchin Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal ensemble||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-82320||10-in.||4/17/1934||Christmas night in Harlem||Johnny Mercer ; Paul Whiteman Orchestra ; Jack Teagarden||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet||vocalist|
|Victor||BS-82358||10-in.||4/27/1934||Fool that I am||Hotel McAlpin Orchestra ; Sam Robbins ; Sydney Schiff||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-83613||10-in.||7/23/1934||Here come the British||Don Mayfield and his Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||songwriter|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Mercer, Johnny," accessed November 28, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103688.
Mercer, Johnny. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved November 28, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103688.
"Mercer, Johnny." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 28 November 2021.
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