Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thank you, Mr. Mercer

Did anyone else see the great Clint Eastwood produced documentary,
Johnny Mercer: The Dream's on Me, on Turner Classic Movies
Wednesday night? I sat there in my nest, aka my favorite corner of
the leather sectional, in the sitting room off the kitchen, completely
glued to the screen. I didn't realize until then, what a big part
Mercer's songs have played in my life. I knew the words to nearly all
of them. He was a genius. We owe this lovely man a huge debt of
gratitude. Take a listen to two of my faves. They've been in my head
all week...


Moon River, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you're going, I'm going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end--
waiting 'round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.
.

Skylark, have you anything to say to me?
Won't you tell me where my love can be?
Is there a meadow in the mist
where some one's waiting to be kissed?
.
Skylark, have you seen a valley green with spring
where my heart can go a journeying
over the shadows and the rain
to a blossom covered lane?
.
And in your lonely flight
haven't you heard the music in the night,
wonderful music,
faint as a will o' the wisp, crazy as a loon,
sad as a gypsy serenading the moon.
.
Oh, skylark, I don't know if you can find these things
but my heart is riding on your wings.
So if you see them anywhere
won't you lead me there?
.

By the way, the DVD version of this documentary will be available
just in time for Christmas, for all you Mercer fans out there.
.
This just in:
.
This program will air again Wednesday, November 18
on TCM at 6:00 P.M. EST.

51 comments:

  1. I love most any thing that Clint Eastwood touches and can only imagine what a great documentary this will be..Must keep an eye out. Thanks for the heads up:-)

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  2. I always enjoy your movie recommendations. Keep them coming.

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  3. Willow, I had heard a discussion on NPR about his songs recently ...his music is such an intricate part of our lives...like the moon....and the rivers...
    I look forward to Eastwood on Mercer.
    Well done!

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  4. Mercer was a fantastic lyricist, & your two faves are great. I wish we still had TCM, but I'll be on the lookout for the DVD.

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  5. some days i just want to be floating down that moon river! thanks for the reminder on this composer's songs and lyrics!

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  6. I just noticed your new picture! Wonderful! You are always looking newly minted, my Willow-friend.

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  7. Thank you, Willow, will keep an eye out for this. One of the greats; beautiful lyrics.

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  8. Oh good about the DVD. You are my eyes to the world girl. Did I tell you I watched I Know Where I Am Going? It was great. Another good recommendation.
    QMM

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  9. Did not catch that dpcumentary -- but Eastwood's work is always wonderful -- and Mercer's songs' ... haunting melodies that Boomers carry with them everywhere.

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  10. lovely songs...was not familiar with the documentary...thanks for the insight. hope you are having a great weekend!

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  11. Mon river -- LOVE that song. Ahhh... Makes me want to see this movie again too. Mercer wrote some incredible stuff.

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  12. Dr. M loves Johnny Mercer! He got hooked watching Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - another Eastwood product. Last night as we sat at the piano bar at the Brown Hotel in Louisville the pianist asked if we had any requests - Dr. M asked for "Mercer please" & the first song she played was Moon River. It was very romantic...

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  13. No, but I love his songs. What a splendid new header - well worth keeping for a long time.

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  14. Willow,

    I was sorry to miss the Johnny Mercer docu, especially since Mr. Eastwood lives here in Carmel. He is a beloved local figure. His films aren't bad either. We had our first sighting of this great man the other evening. It was difficult to act nonchalant in his presence.

    Marjorie

    P.S. Thank you for dropping by my blog. My next post will be about Clint's Mission Ranch.

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  15. Funny,
    I caught a small bit of the doc when I got home on Wednesday. And now starting today I'm staying at my cousin's looking after her son while she's away on business for a few days, and tonight I find at the top of her DVD pile is Breakfast at Tiffany's - a family favourite, particularly my daughter Kelsey's. Moon River is divine.

    Here's a tip of the glass to Johnny Mercer.

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  16. I have a wonderful friend who is a jazz singer - Sony Holland - who sings "Skylark" so beautifully. Johnny Mercer was an incredible songwriter.

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  17. Lovely,

    My 11 year old son has a remarkable voice and his voice teacher recently taught him Sky Lark. He loved it. I wish there was more story telling, romance and poetry in songs again. Some of the popular music is just embarrassingly smutty.

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  18. Willow

    'Moon River' is also one of my all-time favourites. Although covered by many, I still love the version released by South African born Danny Williams.

    Mercer and Mancini..what a combination!

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  19. Yes, he did like some wonderful music. I particularly like the version of Skylark you posted, I hadn't come across it before.

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  20. Thank you for this exquisite preview of a documentary I am going to see for sure!

    Have you ever been to Savannah and looked at Mercer's beautiful home there? Christmas would be the perfect time to go visit, you may even get an invitation to one of the Christmas open houses. ;-)

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  21. What I love the most is Kathy playing the guitar and singing so melodiously. Thanks for another fantastic post. It was very welcome.

    Greetings from London.

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  22. Moon River was our Wedding song, Willow. After Linda and I married we moved to Parry Sound and had to cross Ontario's version of Moon River to get there.

    While our Moon River is certainly not "wider than a mile", I think we did cross it with a certain amount of style.

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  23. Cuban, Kathy?! Mmm, that's Audrey Hepburn, as Holly Golightly playing the guitar. ;^)

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  24. Moon River was one of my favorite songs as a little girl. Thanks for the heads up on the documentary. I missed it.
    I'm lusting after your leather sectional, however. Our sectional was bought about 13 years ago and it's really showing its age.

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  25. "We're after the same same rainbow's end...."
    Thank you Mr. Mercer, thank you Willow. =D

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  26. Thanks Willow, isn't odd how so many songs say what we feel.

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  27. I love Bette Midler's version of Skylark, though k.d. does a fine job as well. I never could really get into Audrey Hepburn strumming a banjo and singing Moon River, (huh?) but the song is beautiful.

    And the pic at the top of the post - whow - look at the size of that microphone!

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  28. There's a certain comfort in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and in that song too. Music is so woven into our psyches.

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  29. Love Johnny Mercer and will look for DVD. His kind of music is enjoyed universally.

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  30. You take me back to my lost youth!

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  31. I love how he used nature in his lyrics. Most current songwriters don't...much love

    p.s. love your new look

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  32. Ahh! Moon River! Love that!

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  33. what a wonderful trip through yesteryear's music that is so so timeless - wonderful post, lady, as always - i've played catch-up visiting the manor today and have had an incredible time here for which i thank you!!! love the new header - always a joy to stroll the manor grounds!

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  34. I have Audrey Hepburn singing Moon River on my ipod. It is beautiful.

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  35. Yeah, Reya, Audrey wasn't exactly known for her singing, in fact, she was dubbed in My Fair Lady by Marni Nixon, but in this case it's the charm factor we're all so nutty about!

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  36. Oh, and just so ya know, that's a guitar she's playing! ;^)

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  37. Sorry I missed the documentary...love both songs and many other Mercer songs.
    Last night watched PBS "42nd Street" and "Top Hat"...what fun!

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  38. I never know who any songs are by but I love both of those songs.

    Your blog is beautiful Willow.

    Love Renee xoxo

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  39. Thanks for reminding me of these classics, Willow!

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  40. I'm not sure there is anything more powerful than a good song.
    x

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  41. Breakfast at Tiffany's was the first movie my mother and father ever went to together. I cry almost every time I hear the song "Moon River".

    Unfortunately I missed the show on Mr. Mercer, but as I am a TCM addict, I will catch the reruns when they show it again.

    Thanks for this post! 8-)

    - M

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  42. Never saw it but Clint Eastwood is a good actor and he also owns the Hog's Breath which is "the" place to eat if you are in "his" neighborhood.

    By the way, that turkey could actually change those colors from red, white and blue from right to left to red, white and blue from left to right. Talk about controlling your emotions.

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  43. This sounds like such a great Xmas present for my Dad. I'm writing it down right now.

    Beautiful songs . . . when I was a teenager I secretly listened to Skylark over and over.

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  44. Oh, I missed that so will get the dvd! Johnny Mercer is from my hometown, Savannah, Georgia, but I'm a fan of his because his music was just so great. I even have his autograph from when he helped my organization raise funds. A real gentleman, too!

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  46. Willow, I am a great fan of Johnny Mercer and will need to see this. Did you know the movie Eastwood made from the book Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil (by John Berendt) is filmed in the Mercer house in Savannah, GA? It's a bit of a weird book & film, but I love the way he captures Savannah. Many of my relatives live(d) in Savannah.

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  47. Lizzy, yes, I did know that, in fact, this acapella version of k.d. lang singing Skylark is from the intro to the movie "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil".

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  48. The mere thought of the melody or lyrics of Moon River makes me weep. It is my one truly melancholy bit of nostalgia for my own sweet age of innocence.

    xox,
    Susan

    confessionsofasineater.blogspot.com

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  49. News Flash! This program will air again next Wednesday November 18 on
    TCM at 6:00 P.M. EST!
    I have it on my calendar!

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  50. Thanks, FireLight!! I'll add it to this post! :D

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)