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the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Tag Archives: Johnny Mercer

Bing Crosby was born on this date in 1903. I have hosted a radio show called “Sinatra & Company” for many years and it still amuses me how the Sinatra fans refuse to show the same love for Bing that Sinatra did. And the tired excuse of his personal life and conduct doesn’t work when […]

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Facebook just reminded me that today would have been Billy Wilder’s birthday. Billy Wilder was a wonderful screenwriter who turned into one of the greatest and most important film director’s in all of history. Back in the 1980s when I was still in my teens and twenties, I desperately wanted to be seen as more […]

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I could have featured Nat King Cole last week for Musical Friday but went with the Crosby golf theme instead. Nevertheless, I want to get a tribute in for NKC before the month of February is out. It was 50 years ago this month, February 15, 1965, that Nat King Cole died at the age […]

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For years and years, we have heard my mom and her brothers quote part of an old Italian adage that says, “La vechiaia brutta” (sp.?) which roughly translated means “old age is an ugly thing.” As my mother approaches her 92nd birthday, these words have come back to haunt us all as she has struggled […]

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We’ve spent a couple of weeks discussing some of my favorite funny people – men and women. There are more but after watching yesterday’s post of “The Merv Griffin Show” with Buddy Rich and Mel Torme, among others, I thought this might be a good time to cover some of my favorite musical artists throughout […]

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In our last “Oscar Songs” post before my special SUNDAY MUSIC FESTA OSCAR SONGS special at 12 Noon, Sunday february 24th on Jazz 90.1 in Rochester, NY or streaming live HERE, I thought we’d touch upon those songs that actually won the big prize on Oscar night and went on to become standards in the […]

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Today we’ve got two Oscar Nominated songs that were both introduced on film by Jane Wyman and Bing Crosby, a most delightful screen couple indeed. The songs were nominated in back-to-back years and were written by two different pairs of legendary songwriters. The first song was not only a 1951 Oscar nominee but the winner, […]

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Here’s a great one from 1943 from a movie called “The Sky’s the Limit.” The song is “My Shining Hour” and like so many Oscar nominated songs that became standards of the American Songbook, this one was introduced by Fred Astaire. The lovely lady to whom he sings this little gem is Joan Leslie. She […]

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Today we celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of composer Jimmy Van Heusen. While his name and celebrity may not be as universal as that of Irving Berlin or Cole Porter, he wrote hundreds of songs of which dozens became cherished American standards. It also didn’t hurt that he wrote for the two […]

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I was sorry to hear this morning of the passing of Andy Williams. one of the great American crooners. According to reports, he’d been battling bladder cancer for almost a year. I never followed Andy Williams the way I did Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Mel Torme or Ella Fitzgerald. He was the All-American, apple pie […]

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