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Sills Sings Mercer Tuesdays in January at Metropolitan Room

"Morgan Sills Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook," the first New York show celebrating the centennial of the noted lyricist, will be presented at The Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street - between 5th & 6th Avenues).

Beginning Tuesday, January 6th at 7PM (and playing each Tuesday at 7PM through the month of January), Mr. Sills will offer an evening honoring one of America's most popular and prolific contributors to the Great American Songbook. The evening will include such Mercer classics as "Days of Wine and Roses," "Moon River," and "That Old Black Magic," as well as some seldom heard Mercer gems. A true southern gentleman like Johnny Mercer, Morgan Sills honors the memory - and magic - with this salute. Musical Direction and Arrangements by Ed Goldschneider.


"Morgan Sills Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook," will play each Tuesday in January (January 6, 13, 20, 27) at 7PM at The Metropolitan Room (34 West 22nd Street - between 5th & 6th Avenues). There is a $20 music charge (plus a two drink minimum). Reservations are strongly suggested and may be made by calling (212) 206-0440. For more information, please visit www.metropolitanroom.com.

Johnny Mercer (1909-1976) was a lyricist-composer, vocalist, and recording industry executive. Born in Savannah, Georgia, he moved to New York in the 1920s, where he appeared in a few Broadway shows and began his musical career. He met his wife, Ginger, while writing lyrics for what became his first published song, "Out of Breath and Scared to Death of You," from the 1930 revue The Garrick Gaieties. He co-founded Capitol Records, the first major recording label on the West Coast, and assembled a galaxy of talent there including his goddaughter Margaret Whiting, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Mel Tomé, and Jo Stafford. Mercer also made recordings as a vocalist for Capitol, charting 13 Top Ten hits and 4 Number One hit songs, written by his self and others. Mercer wrote the lyrics to over 1700 songs, with an incredible 18 Academy Award nominations for Best Song, which resulted in four wins: "On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe," "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," "Moon River" and "Days of Wine and Roses." Throughout his long career Mercer collaborated with a "Who's Who" of composers, including Hoagy Carmichael, Harry Warren, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Richard Whiting, Jimmy McHugh, Jimmy Van Heusen, Gene DePaul, Arthur Schwartz, and Henry Mancini. In Hollywood Mercer wrote songs for five decades of movies, from the 1930s to the 1970s. Some of his greatest film hits include "Too Marvelous for Words," "Laura," "Blues in the Night" and "That Old Black Magic."

On Broadway, Mercer wrote lyrics for several revues as well as lyrics for L'il Abner with music by Gene DePaul; St. Louis Woman and Saratoga, both with music by Harold Arlen; Texas L'il Darlin and Foxy, both with music by Robert Emmett Dolan; and Walk With Music with music by Hoagy Carmichael. Mercer wrote both music and lyrics for the Broadway show Top Banana. His final work for the stage was the London musical The Good Companions (based on J.B. Priestley's novel), with music by Andre Previn. Johnny Mercer was the founding president of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. He died in Los Angeles in 1976.

Morgan Sills toured nationally in all four roles in multiple companies of the musical Forever Plaid. In New York, he appeared in the Midtown International Theatre Festival revivals of A Shot in the Dark (MITF Award nomination - Best Leading Actor in a Play) and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe (OOBR Award Winner); and the first New York revival of Flahooley (Theatre at St. Clements). Television audiences have enjoyed Morgan's multiple appearances singing the "Top Ten List" as a Late Show Caroler on "The Late Show with David Letterman." As a concert and cabaret artist, Morgan received a MAC Award nomination for The Roger Edens Songbook, which was named one of the "Best Shows of the Year" by Theatermania.com and Show Business Weekly. Visit www.morgansills.com.

Ed Goldschneider (Musical Direction and Arrangements) Broadway, etc: Urinetown, The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, NEWSical, Avenue Q, Legally Blonde, Chita: A Dancer's Life, Grey Gardens, Wicked, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Fantasticks, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. National Tours: Rent, Fame, West Side Story. Numerous productions: Papermill Playhouse, Houston Theatre Under The Stars, Atlanta Theatre Of The Stars, North Shore Music Theatre, Allenberry Playhouse, Cumberland County Playhouse, Jenny Wiley Theatre, Broadhollow Players. Orchestrations: One Way Ticket To Hell (original L.A. production), Broadway Pops International.

Photo by Rod Goodman

 


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