The Johnny Mercer Song Book is the very last release by Speakers Corner in the label's superb Ella Fitzgerald songbook series. To speak of songs by Johnny Mercer and just call him a composer falls far short of the truth for he is the personification of a top composer, a great lyricist, and a shrewd businessman who set up a monument to himself with his extremely successful record company Capitol Records.
Ella Fitzgerald sang Johnny Mercer's compositions over and over again, and on this recording we have a wonderful version of "Something's Gotta Give" and Johnny Mercer's theme song and showpiece "Dream." His inspiration as a lyricist is masterly. Who else could have thought of such a gorgeous introduction to Stan Getz's number "Early Autumn" or the refrain from "I Remember You."
All in all, Johnny Mercer composed or wrote the lyrics to over 1000 songs, 13 of which Ella performs here in masterly fashion and in her own inimitable style: mellifluous, electric and/or swinging. Recorded in October of 1964 in Los Angeles, CA by Val Valentin, this album has never sounded better.