Robert Kimball, Barry Day, -->reviewed by Michael Anderson -->

“For every man who sits in the bath and sings the words,” the English jazz critic Benny Green once wrote, “there are twenty who walk in the streets and whistle the melody.” Just so; when Ella Fitzgerald created the pantheon of Tin Pan Alley with her celebrated “Songbook” series, the first seven records paid tribute to composers: Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, and Jerome Kern. The last entry was the only one to showcase a lyricist: Johnny Mercer. In the opinion of his peers, it was a tribute fully deserved. “He’s not just a lyricist, he’s a songwriter,” Berlin declared. “Johnny Mercer is a great,...

 

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