Text Box: HARMONIE AUTOGRAPHS AND MUSIC INC.

MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS & ANTIQUARIAN

Price: $650.00

FINE CONDITION SAVE ONE PINHOLE

Autographed and inscribed, original glossy Charlie Mihn verso blind stamped photograph of the legendary lyricist at the time of his 1943 radio program, Johnny Mercer’s Music Shop, a temporary Summer replacement for Bob Hope’s Pepsodent Show.  We offer with a first edition example of Mercer’s huge hit with Harold Arlen, “Blues in the Night”, Remick Music Company, 1941, plate 3217-4, with center advertisement for “Big Crosby’s Album of Song Souvenirs”, page 5 bottom advertisement, “Victor Herbert Piano Albums for the Young” and an advertisement for “Victory in Verse and Voice” with a selection of 58 patriotic songs on the back page.

Johnny Mercer (1909-1976) was truly and aberration in the Tin Pan Alley World.  A true Anglo-Saxon Protestant with a storied family dating before the American Revolution from Savannah, Georgia, he found his own voice and worked successfully with and in the world of mainly first and second generation Jewish immigrant composers and lyricists. Mercer was at his best when he was writing lyrics for jazz and blues songs and his most fruitful collaboration was with Harold Arlen, penning for both Broadway shows and films some of his biggest hits including: “Blues in the Night”, “The Old Black Magic”, “One for My Baby and One More for the Road”, “Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate the Positive”, “My Shining Hour”, “Out of This World”, “Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home” and “Come Rain or Come Shine”.  He also collaborated with Harry Warren in, “Jeepers Creepers” and “You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby”, Richard Whiting in “Hooray for Hollywood”, Rube Bloom in “Fools Rush In”, Hoagy Carmichael in, “Lazybones” and “In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening”, Duke Ellington, “Satin Doll”, for Henry Mancini “Moon River” and “Day of Wine and Roses” and even re-wrote the lyrics to Paul Linke’s 1903 German language hit “Glow Worm”. 

As a composer, Mercer also composed and wrote lyrics to his own songs including, “I’m an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande”, “Dream”, “G.I. Jive”, his biggest hit “Something’s Gotta Give”, “Bernadine”, “Technique”, “The Phony King of England” and he co-composed and wrote the lyrics to “I Wanna Be Around” with Ohio beautician Silvie Vimmerstedt.

Interestingly, despite song titles and the fact that he was the Cotton Club house composer, Arlen considered his collaboration “Blues in the Night” written for the film of the same name in 1941, his only true blues composition. For instance he considered his torch song, “Stormy Weather” a ballad. Arlen was enamored with Mercer’s lyrics for the song and the way they developed.  Arlen recalled later on in an interview that at a dinner party where he and Mercer first performed the song, Mickey Rooney exclaimed, “That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever heard”, Judy Garland exclaimed, “Play it again” and then raced to the piano to learn the piece and Mel Torme who made the song his own exclaimed, “I can’t believe it!”.

Photographer Charlie Mihn operated as a freelance Los Angeles photographer out of the same office as Ray Whitten. They supplied images for the local jazz specialty magazines of the time.  His forte was the jazz world from the Swing era of the 1940’s to the Be-Bop era of the 1960’s.  He was known for his photographs of Mercer that have been widely published, we could not find this specific image on-line.  He also photographed among others, Nat King Cole, Hoagy Carmichael, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, Frank Sinatra, Gene Krupa, Peggy Lee, Billy May, Herb Jeffries and many more.

Mercer’s autographed photographs from the 1940’s and earlier are surprisingly scarce. If one finds Mercer autographs they tend to be from the 1960’s to the 1970’s.

 

JOHNNY MERCER - LYRICIST & COMPOSER
Text Box: MUSIC AUTOGRAPHS AND EPHEMERA BOUGHT AND SOLD
Text Box: Text Box: LYRICIST AUTOGRAPHS

Phone: 212-860-5541  *  Fax: 917-677-8247