(1) Johnny Mercer I Wanna Be Around


Johnny Mercer(1909-1976)

He is a super lyricist also a composer called "Mr. Americana". His lyrics are with full of wits, romantic and beautiful. Everybody knows "Moon River" and "Days of Wine and Roses" which got Oscars, and he wrote plenty of music for movies.

He is one of the founders of Capitol Record Company.

Do you know that he was a famous singer? When I found records which he performed as a singer at a records shop in Tokyo, I jumped for joy. I recommend you to hear his songs for there are many CDs.

His voice is very wide from low to high tone.

The pictures are of his early days and of many years after. I can't stop loving him for his naughty eyes.

He wrote more than 1,500 songs in his life, and broadness of his talent can be guessed on the numbers of composers and musicians worked with Mercer.

He looks like a perfect songwriter, but he couldn't read and write music scores. He created his melodies using one finger on piano.

In 1959, Mercer received a hint of song from a beautician Sadie Vimmerstedt who lived in Ohio. It was just a line of sentence, "I want to be around to pick up the pieces when somebody's breaking your heart".

I think the piece was enough to create a song image for Johnny Mercer. Expression of English is romantic. If we translate the sentence into Japanese, it will be not so smart.

Mercer wrote a song "I Wanna Be Around" derived by this hint, and Tony Bennett sang and became a big hit. Mercer made her name as a co-writer of the song, and he presented her $3,000 income annually. This story reflects the personality of Johnny Mercer.

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