The Johnny Mercer Web Site contains practically everything you could possibly want to know about the lyricist of such American standards as "Blues in the Night," "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "That Old Black Magic," who was the subject of the 1997 Broadway musical Dream.
The site offers a lengthy bio, a complete list of Mercer songs (courtesy of Martin Hall) and a 35-page catalogue of recordings.
And there's also all kinds of other fascinating information, such as a list of venues in the UK where singer Marlene Ver Planck will be performing her show, which contains -- naturally -- a lot of Mercer songs, and a page called "Ask A Question" (Q: Did Johnny Mercer write "Ugly Child" [sic] or its lyrics? A: No. Actually, Clarence Williams wrote the words and music to "Ugly Chile." Mercer, however, did have a very big hit with the song, on his own label [Capitol, Record #268]).
All questions are answered by the site's founding father, 46-year-old Steve Taksler, who resides in New Jersey and first became hooked on Mercer several years ago when he heard a recording of Mercer & Elman's "And the Angels Sing." He was so taken by the song, he says, that shortly thereafter he began a search to identify all of Mercer's works.
The Web site recently celebrated its first anniversary and is reported to have been been read by some 4,300 people during the past two months. "This has been a remarkable year for aficionados of Johnny Mercer's poetry," says Taksler. "First there was the Broadway show Dream, starring Margaret Whiting -- absolutely the best interpreter of Johnny's music -- and John Pizzarelli, and now there's the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which has an all-Mercer score."
The site is located at http://www.johnnymercer.com.
-- By Rebecca Paller