18 September 2011

Johnny Mercer's Music Shop

On August first of 1942, the 1942–44 musicians' strike began. No union musicians could record for any record company, but were able to play for live engagements and radio shows; the issue which prompted the strike was regarding record companies paying royalties to musicians. Many record companies had "stockpiled" recordings of their stars prior to the strike, planning to release them over a period of time. While the older, more established record labels were able to do this, the newly formed Capitol had no opportunity to do likewise. The strike brought the new company to a standstill until Johnny Mercer began his radio show, Johnny Mercer's Music Shop, in June 1943. The radio show was meant to be a venue for Capitol's talent during the Musicians' Strike. Mercer and Capitol recording artist Jo Stafford hosted the program, with Paul Weston and his orchestra providing the music for it.One small correction: "Wendell Myles" should be announcer Wendell Niles (1904–1994). He was an announcer on The Bob Hope Show, The Burns & Allen Show, and The Milton Berle Show. Wendell and his brother Ken Niles have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.An interesting promotional tie-in (circa 1943) for Johnny Mercer's Music Shop. Here's some additional information on the songs it contains:
*Blue Rain (written with Jimmy Van Heusen, 1939)
*My Shining Hour (with Harold Arlen, 1943) From the Fred Astaire/Joan Leslie movie The Sky's The Limit
*Skylark (with Hoagy Carmichael, 1942)
*Ooh! What You Said (with Hoagy Carmichael, 1939) from the Simone Simon/Mitzi Green/Mary Brian stage show Three After Three
*Mister Meadowlark (with Walter Donaldson, 1940)
*Love Of My Life (with Artie Shaw, 1940) From the Fred Astaire/Paulette Goddard movie Second Chorus
*I Thought About You (with Jimmy Van Heusen, 1939)
*On Behalf Of The Visiting Firemen (with Walter Donaldson, 1940) "Official Song New York World's Fair 1940"
*Make With The Kisses (with Jimmy Van Heusen, 1939)
*Strip Polka (1942)
*One For My Baby (And One More For The Road) (with Harold Arlen, 1943) from the R.K.O. picture The Sky's The Limit

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