Johnny Mercer

Johnny Mercer (1909–1976), one of America’s most popular and successful songwriters of the twentieth century, was born in Savannah and moved to New York City in 1927. He published his first lyric, “Out of Breath (and Scared to Death of You),” in 1929, then went on to write lyrics for more than 1,000 songs before his death in 1976. Among his best-known songs are “Moon River,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “Accentuate the Positive,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “Summer Wind.” Mercer won four Academy Awards, wrote six Broadway shows, co-founded Capitol Records in Los Angeles in 1942, and in 1969 created the Songwriters Hall of Fame (which finally moved into a physical home, the Los Angeles grammy Museum, in 2010). (Inducted in 2011)