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The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer
Format: Kindle EditionChange
Price:£39.62

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2009
"The Complete Lyrics of Johhny Mercer" is an essential book for all students of lyrics and language. Mercer's love for language and his belief in his role as a craftsman shines out in almost all of the lyrics offered here. His knowledge of the English Language mixed with the continuity of the tradition that he saw both from his own background in the South of the USA, yet linked to a deep love of what many people might call "English Literature", created a body of work which had an extraordinary breadth and resonance covering all aspects of the vernacular style, yet butting right up against so called "art songs". Dipping into the book reveals not only a host of great songs but also many connections to the social history of the period, covering as it does the period from the 1930s to the 1970s. Working with so many different composers (including at times, himself) gave Mercer a unique insight into the whole process of song creation.

This is a five star book. But the short-ish introduction by Miles Kreuger is, in my opinion, unsatisfying and just does not do justice to Mercer. To do so, the user of this mammoth book should have other material on Mercer to hand such as the books by Gene Lees, Philip Furia, (etc) which round out his complexities and give a more accurate picture of his personal life and influences.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2009
For any lover of the American popular song, this book of lyrics by one of the most important 20th century lyricists, is a must. Some of Mercer's collaborators like Harold Arlen had an uncanny knack of bringing out amazing lyrics from Mercer who would claim they had been locked away in his brain for months or years but the mere sound of the notes would release them. This book should be on your bookshelf alongside the others by Robert Kimball on Hart, Gershwin, Porter and Berlin. Expensive but worth every penny. Make sure your children read them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2010
A wonderful book, full of surprises like 'I didn't realise he wrote that' Very comprehensive, and enlightening, with a good choice of photographs. The only downside is, that it is so heavy, I have to leave it on the dining room table to read it!
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on 8 March 2013
Mercer had the kind of skill that never screams "Look at me!", which may be why he's sometimes left off lists of the greatest 20th century songwriters. But he is of course right up there with Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hart, the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, and the best of the rest. Reading these lyrics puts the songs you know back in your head and immediately makes you want to hear the ones you don't.
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on 16 January 2014
If you are a Johnny Mercer fan this is a must have. I bought it for my husband for Christmas and he is delighted with it. Expensive but beautifully produced.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2009
Bought as a present for my dad- look fabulous and excellent quality photo's - a great buy!
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