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  1. #1

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    Good article from American Songwirter.

    Mercer once said he thought it took more talent to write music but more courage to write lyrics. Since he wrote both, he had a valuable perspective
    Legends of Songwriting: The Huckleberry Verser, Johnny Mercer << American Songwriter

    What are your favorite Mercer lyrics?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    This is my favorite version of this tune.



    Contains my favorite lyric line:
    "Folks around these parts get the time of day/
    From the Atchison, Topeka & the Santa Fe."

  4. #3

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    I like the Jack Teagarden version, but to each his own. Big T never did anything that I didn't like.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    I like the Jack Teagarden version, but to each his own. Big T never did anything that I didn't like.
    That has much to commend it and I get that doing it in that rhythm is fitting for a train song. Mercer did it that way with the Pied Pipers.

    But I think what Marie Cleere Haran does is akin to what Blossom Dearie did with "The Surrey With the Fringe On Top": slow it down and let the lyrical imagery bloom in one's mind.


  6. #5
    Tangerine,
    She is all they say
    With mascara'd eye and chapeaux by Dache.
    Tangerine,
    With her lips of flame
    If the color keeps, Louis Philippe's to blame.

    I was sauntering mindlessly through the famous Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah several years ago, well-known now for being featured in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil", and there, unexpectedly. was his final resting place. What a writer!

  7. #6

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    speakin of huckleberry..immortal mercer lyric

    moon river


    andy williams was fine singer..was raised with vintage brothers ensemble...so knew harmony!...columbia stuck some verb on him and made him 60's hit..well deserved...he cld sing! (there's a clip of him with s&g and he takes no prisoners!)

    but w mercer words-



    cheers

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    speakin of huckleberry..immortal mercer lyric

    moon river
    O yeah. It's remarkable how much is conveyed in just a few words. (It's a short lyric.) Masterful.

  9. #8

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    Johnny Mercer and Steve Allen


  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Johnny Mercer and Steve Allen

    great!

    cheers

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    great!

    cheers
    I agree! And that was a long musical bit for a TV show. I think the Johnny and Steve portion runs over 6 minutes. (Band was great.) Then Johnny sings alone. Very long performance for TV. And so many great songs.

  12. #11

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    I love this song.


  13. #12

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    Some of my favorite songs with Mercer lyrics:

    Early Autumn

    I'm Old Fashioned

    Trav'lin' Light

    P.S. I Love You

    I Thought About You

    Midnight Sun

    Out Of This World

    Probably a bunch more if I think about it.

    BTW I've always thought Mercer had a ridiculous amount of talent for just one person, so Steve Allen and him together makes it ridiculous squared.

    Danny W.

  14. #13

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    A couple more classic Mercer lyrics:



    Sintatra really did this one his own way


  15. #14

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    Johnny Mercer & Nat Cole "Save the Bones for Henry Jones"


  16. #15

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    The line "My huckleberry friend", in Moon River is such a unique, original descriptive turn of phrase that evokes nostalgia instantly with brilliant economy.

    I'm an Old Cowhand is pretty great too. Supposedly, if memory serves, written on the back of an envelope in ten minutes.

    I'm an old cowhand from the Rio Grande
    But my legs ain't bowed and my cheeks ain't tan
    I'm a cowboy who never saw a cow
    Never roped a steer cause I don't know how
    Sure ain't a fixin to start in now
    Yippie yi yo kayah
    I'm an old cowhand and I come down from the Rio Grande
    And I learned to ride, ride, ride 'fore I learned to stand
    I'm a riding fool who is up to date
    I know every trail in the Lone Star State
    Cause I ride the range in a Ford V-8
    Yippie yi yo kayah


  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyV
    The line "My huckleberry friend", in Moon River is such a unique, original descriptive turn of phrase that evokes nostalgia instantly with brilliant economy.
    I think the whole song is only 10 lines long. It's a amazingly rich lyric.
    Here's a picture of Johnny Mercer and Audrey Hepburn practicing the song. (She sang it in the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's.")

    The Huckleberry Verser, Johnny Mercer-mercer-hepburn-practicing-moon-river-jpg

  18. #17

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