Bing Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook

Bing Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook

by Bing Crosby



Bing Crosby was a media superstar during the first half of the 20th century. He was the best-selling recording artist of all time until the rock era hit, having sold over a half-billion records, and he was a movie star, too, the biggest box office draw of the 1940s. None of this would have been possible if he couldn't sing, but he could, defining the very template of a crooner, and his vocal style, warm and natural, was influential everywhere. Crosby had a particular fondness for songs by Johnny Mercer, his friend and frequent collaborator, and he tracked 100 or so of them during his long career. This generous set collects 22 of these recordings on a single disc, including several previously unreleased radio performances, and fun duets with the Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, and Mercer himself, among other valuable archival gems.

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Bing Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
susan_frances More than 1 year ago
A period recording that revels in old-time swing, Bing Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook gives audiences a panoramic view of an age in America’s mainstream music when jazz crooners reigned on the radio accompanied by big bands performing live on the air. The recording spans music recorded from the 1930’s through the 1940’s featuring a rare 1934 radio performance of “P.S. I Love You” and an animated rendition of “Lazy Bones” accompanied by the baritone register of trumpeter Louis Armstrong. Catching numbers like “In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening” and “Jamboree Jones” are dancehall-bound and romantic waltzes like “Day In, Day Out“ and “Skylark” strobe an intimate atmospheric. Crosby’s covers of Johnny Mercer’s tunes illuminate a period in American music that reflects the romantic-bent of pop culture. A pop icon in his own right, Bing Crosby illustrates a chameleon-like character as he shapes his vocals to bring out the distinctive nuances and emotive traits of each song. Mellow numbers like “Autumn Leaves” and “I Thought about You” are buffered by the peppy chorus-line kicks of “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby” and the witty exchanges he coordinates with Johnny Mercer in “Mister Meadowlark”. The bolero overtones of “That Old Black Magic” flex sensual textures in the strings and horns, and the Chattanooga-style rhythm of “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive” with harmony vocals supplied by the Andrews Sisters mimic the chugging motion of a steam locomotive. Bing Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook is a period piece that depicts a slice of life emblematic of mid-20th century lifestyles. Sophisticated, elegant and harmonious sounding, the tracks spotlight some of the finest work from Mercer’s catalog while showcasing the limber vocals of Bing Crosby as he articulates every nuance and inflection to make each song distinguishable.