Johnny Mercer, Southern Songwriter for the World
May 28 2014
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Russell Special Collections Building
You’ll leave the UGA Special Collections Libraries May 28 humming the tunes to perennial favorite melodies: “Moon River,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby.”
Johnny Mercer, the lyricist behind those iconic melodies, is the subject of a biography by UGA grad Glenn Eskew, who will discuss the popular composer in an engaging presentation at the University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries.
A history professor at Georgia State University, which holds Mercer’s personal papers and various other related collections documenting his career as lyricist, composer, performer and businessman, Eskew penned an exhaustively researched examination of one of America’s most successful musicians. It was published by the University of Georgia Press, which is co-sponsoring the event with the UGA Libraries.
Eskew will begin his multi-media presentation at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of the Russell Special Collections Libraries. A book signing and reception will follow. The event is open free to the public. Parking is available in the Hull Street Parking Deck adjacent to the building.
Mercer, who died in 1976, remains one of the most dominant figures of 20th century popular music. Writing at least 1,400 songs, he was nominated for 19 Academy Awards, winning four. Additionally, he was a co-founder of Capitol Records, through which he is credited with reviving the careers of such stars as Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Duke Ellington. Mercer was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2007.