Johnny Mercer (1909-1976), a Georgia native, began writing songs at the age of 15 and eventually became one of the foremost figures of 20th century American popular music. For nearly five decades, Mercer had a prolific career as a lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer. He is credited with writing 1,400 songs, was nominated for 18 Academy Awards, and was one of the founders of Capitol Records.
The Johnny Mercer Legacy
The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer.
The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed.
JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions to facilitate our goals including; the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Accentuate The Positive Programs (New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami), The Musical Theater Program at NJPAC, Georgia State University Fellowship Program, Florida International University Fellowship Program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University, In addition, JMF also supports various charitable causes including UCLA’s Art of The Brain, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Mark Taper and Johnny Mercer Artists Program), Braille Institute (Johnny Mercer Children and Adult Choirs) and KCET TVs Cinema Series.
About Accentuate the Positive
In 2002, The Johnny Mercer Foundation launched a lyric writing program to teach elementary students about the art of songwriting and to introduce them to the songs of the Great American Songbook.
At the center of this program is Accentuate the Positive, a student activity guide that explains how a song is born, how music and lyrics are conceived and written and how these songs reflect our passions and ideals. Accentuate the Positive is currently being used in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta and Miami schools.