No single songwriter had more hits during the WWII years than the fellow who wrote the song for which we named our 2016 tribute to the popular music of WWII, Johnny Mercer. It could simply be that his career was hitting its peak exactly during the war years, or it could be the down-home demeanor of his songs, or their upbeat spirit. For whatever reason, Mercer songs were everywhere, and a huge number of them were at the top of the charts. And as a singer and entertainer as well, Mercer also contributed to the war effort directly, mostly as a part of the AFRS radio broadcasts -- his Johnny Mercer's Music Shop, which ran 1944-45, featured him, Jo Stafford, the Pied Pipers with June Hutton, and an occasional guest artist like backed by Paul Weston and his orchestra were sharp, upbeat affairs that always kicked off "Hi there fellas, hope you feel tip top. This is Johnny Mercer and his music shop! All you soldiers, sailors and marines out there, All you gals in the service, we're on the air!...Hope we get your steady vote, we remain yours truly, unquote!"
Jesse and company dedicate this afternoon concert to a swell selection from the master of down-home "aw-shucks" and "positive". Look for such classics as "Blues In The Night", "That Old Black Magic", "Skylark", "You Were Never Lovelier", "Jeepers Creepers", "My Shining Hour", "Tangerine", "One For My Baby", "Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive", of course "G.i. Jive" and more!
|Featured composers, lyricists, creators|
Harold Arlen, 1905-1986
Fred Astaire, 1899-1987
Rube Bloom, -Hoagy Carmichael, 1899-1981
Bernie Hanighan, 1908-1976
Jerome Kern, 1885-1945
Matty Malneck, 1903-1981Johnny Mercer, 1909-1976
Victor Schertzinger, 1888-1941Harry Warren, 1893-1981
Richard Whiting, 1891-1938