Correspondence: That Mercer Show

Alan Broadbent–pianist, composer, arranger, conductor for Diana Krall and Natalie Cole, among others–wrote in response to the Fresh Air program promoted in the previous exhibit.

Thanks for posting Dave and Rebecca’s Fresh Air show which I have just finished listening to and would have missed but for you.
Last week the TCM channel had a marathon of Mercer movies beginning in the late 30′s and I had to sit through hours of nonsense just to see him perform. Worth its wait in gold, though.
Speaking of “P.S. I Love You”: I learned it as a kid from Johnny Mathis (I think it was the flip side on a 45 of “Chances Are”). When I conduct for Diana she occasionally sings it as a solo feature and I never fail to choke up. The first time I heard her do it I could hardly conduct the next number from weeping uncontrollably. The way she sings it, It’s the first time I really understood that the person writing has nothing in particular to say and that everything is said behind the words.
I’m feeling very sad about the loss of it all. I was born way after my time.
But how can any of this compare to the new song my 9 year old son is learning from his guitar teacher, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”?

The Fresh Air Mercer program is archived here.

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Comments

  1. says

    I listened to some Johnny Mercer myself last night. It is amazing how many of his songs became vehicles that legends drove to stardom. Nat Cole and Sinatra for two.
    Alan Broadbent’s comments made me want to check out Diana Krall’s version of “PS I Love you.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEQmvinU_1w
    Holy smokes! Not since Jo Stafford whispered “The Nearness of You” in my ear, have I heard such an intimate and personal revelation of a lyric. What a great way to start the day.
    We are getting ready for our 6th annual Nevada Chamber Music Festival. It is an amazing four days of music at the end of the year. Here’s more about it:
    http://www.renochamberorchestra.org/ncmf