Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy Autumn

We have chosen Eric Clapton's version of Johnny Mercer's lyric thanks to Craig Newmark who alerted us to this rather odd Rolling Stone story of best songwriters of all time. Which list does include many talented pop lyricists and composers outside of the Rock and Roll genre, such as Dolly Parton, Hank Williams and the team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Bacharach, among his numerous hit tunes, having won two Academy Awards for best song--Rain Drops Keep Fallin' on My Head, and Arthur's Theme, as well as three other nominations for best song Oscar.

Compared to Johnny Mercer's four best song Oscar wins--On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe (1947), In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening (1952), Moon River (1961) and Days of Wine and Roses (1962). Those Academy Awards came along with twelve nominations for which he didn't win.

Which are a small percentage of the 1500 songs he wrote overall, both as a composer/lyricist as well as a collaborator with the likes of tunesmiths Jerome Kern, Hoagy Carmichael, Harry Warren, Harold Arlen, Richard Whiting and Henry Mancini. Among his hits: Lazy Bones, Accentuate the Positive, Blues in the Night, That Old Black Magic, I Want to be Around to Pick up the Pieces, Hooray for Hollywood, Too Marvelous for Words, I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande, You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, Fools Rush In, I Remember You, Tangerine, Skylark, I'm Old Fashioned, Dream, Satin Doll, Midnight Sun, Something's Gotta Give....

And, for the Rolling Stone editors; the song Eric Clapton is singing in the You Tube clip above.

Other songwriters dissed--in addition to Mercer and his collaborators (Kern et al.)--by RS being such non entities as Rodgers and Hart/Hammerstein, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn, Gus Kahn (It Had to be You, Makin' Whoopee, Dream a Little Dream of Me) and the incomparable Dorothy Fields (I Can't Give You Anything But Love, The Sunny Side of the Street, I'm in the Mood for Love, The Way You Look Tonight, A Fine Romance, Big Spender, Don't Blame Me, Remind Me, Pick Yourself Up).

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