Academy to Sing the Praises of Johnny Mercer
Beverly Hills, CA (October 27, 2009) — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the musical legacy of songwriter Johnny Mercer with a gala centennial tribute featuring film clips of many of his timeless classics, and personal performances and appearances by friends and colleagues, on Thursday, November 5, at 8 p.m. at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Performances by program host Michael Feinstein and Monica Mancini (daughter of Mercer’s longtime friend, Henry Mancini) will bring some of Mercer’s most beloved songs to life on the Academy’s stage. This event is sold-out, but standby tickets may become available.
Oscar®-winning songwriter-composer Alan Bergman, Oscar-nominated songwriter Arthur Hamilton, actresses Rose Marie and Jane Russell, and Mancini’s widow, Ginny, also will participate in the event.
Born in Savannah, Georgia, on November 18, 1909, Johnny Mercer began writing songs at the age of 15, and was ultimately credited with writing more than 1,700. His Oscar-winning songs include On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe (“The Harvey Girls,” 1946), In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening (“Here Comes the Groom,” 1951), Moon River (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” 1961) and Days of Wine and Roses, from the 1962 film of the same name.
With 18 Academy Award® nominations for Best Song (and one more nomination for the song score of “Darling Lili,” written in collaboration with Mancini), Mercer remains one of the cinema’s most honored songwriters. Such standards as Blues in the Night, I’m Old Fashioned, That Old Black Magic and Something’s Gotta Give added immeasurably to the impact of the movies in which they were performed, not to mention the good will generated by Mercer’s anthem to the movie business – Hooray for Hollywood.
Though tickets to “A Centennial Tribute to Johnny Mercer” are sold out, additional tickets typically become available at the last minute due to no-shows and cancellations. There will be a standby line at the west doors of the Academy on November 5. Standby numbers will be given out at 5:30 p.m. The number of standby tickets that can be sold will be determined shortly before the event’s start time.
Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID.
The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at the 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.
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