Johnny and Ginger Mercer papers, 1925 - ca. 1992.


Johnny and Ginger Mercer papers, 1925 - ca. 1992.

The Johnny and Ginger Mercer Papers contain manuscripts, photographs, sheet music, recordings, printed materials, and memorabilia documenting the early careers (1920s through about 1931) of both Johnny and Ginger Mercer; their courtship and marriage (1930 and 1931); and Johnny Mercer's career as a songwriter, performer, and businessman as it continued after their marriage; Johnny Mercer's work as a lyricist. Other topics covered in the Papers include Johnny Mercer's Savannah roots, including information about his parents, siblings, and other relatives; Ginger Mercer's family; the family that Johnny and Ginger established in California, with their children Amanda and Jeff; and Ginger Mercer's life and activities following her husband's death. The Johnny and Ginger Mercer Papers (accession number M1995-15) were acquired by Georgia State University in 1995, nearly 14 years after Mrs. Mercer donated to GSU the Johnny Mercer Papers (M1981-01). The Johnny Mercer Papers (M1981-01) originated in Mercer's studio, housed in an outbuilding at the couple's Bel-Air home; they focus more on Johnny Mercer's professional activities, although his family and personal life are also represented. The Johnny and Ginger Mercer Papers (M1995-15), on the other hand, were housed in the living quarters of the Mercer's Bel-Air home, and although they document Johnny Mercer's career and professional activities, they also include more materials relating to the personal lives of both Johnny and Ginger Mercer. Oversize items and non-manuscript materials, including photographs, books, artifacts, sheet music, and recordings, have been separated from the rest of the collection. Photographs, books, sheet music and recordings are indexed separately. Books are also listed at the end of this finding aid, along with artifacts and oversize materials. Researchers should note that the books in this collection were received by GSU in 1995, nearly 19 years after Johnny Mercer's death. Although all of them came from the homes that Ginger and Johnny Mercer had owned and lived in, other individuals had visited and resided in the homes during the years following Mercer's death. Therefore it is not possible to absolutely confirm which books were acquired or used by the Mercers during Johnny Mercer's life, as opposed to books that may have been added to the collection at a later date, perhaps by friends, relatives, or visitors.

4 linear ft.

Related Entities

There are 2 Entities related to this resource.

Mercer, Johnny (person)

Johnny Mercer (1910-1976) was born John H. Mercer in Savannah, Georgia, the son of George Anderson Mercer. He was educated in Savannah public schools and at Woodberry Forest School in Virginia. He worked with his father in the real estate loan business before heading to New York in 1929 with the Savannah Town Theater group for a National Little Theater contest. He remained in New York to try for a stage career. He became a well-known lyricist and moved to California, where he produced many hit s...

Mercer, Ginger (Elizabeth Meltzer), 1909-1994. (person)

Ginger Mercer was born Elizabeth Meltzer on June 25, 1909 in Brooklyn, New York, one of three daughters born to Anna and Joseph Meltzer. Specially gifted from childhood, Ginger studied piano and dance and made her stage debut at age 16 under the stage name "Ginger Meehan." From the mid-1920s through approximately 1930 Ginger appeared as a dancer in numerous shows, including Honeymoon Lane (1926), in which Kate Smith made her debut, and the 1930 production of Ruth Selwyn's Nine-Fifteen Review. Wh...