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Ginger Mercer collection

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Ginger Mercer:

A Guide to Her Collection at Georgia State University Library

Georgia State University
Georgia State University
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
404-413-2880
Fax: 404-413-2881
archives@gsu.edu

2005



Profile Description

Creation: Created by Trish Raque Bogdan, 2005.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator: Mercer, Ginger, 1909-
Title: Ginger Mercer collection
Dates: circa 1960-1983
Quantity: 2 linear feet
Abstract:Ginger Mercer was born Elizabeth Meltzer on June 25, 1909 in Brooklyn, New York, one of three daughters born to Anna and Joseph Meltzer. While a member of the cast of the Garrick Gaieties of 1930 Ginger met an aspiring actor named Johnny Mercer, her future husband, who had moved to New York from Savannah, Georgia to try his hand at a show business career. Following her husband's death, Ginger traveled widely and spent much of her time promoting her Johnny Mercer's legacy. The Ginger Mercer collection contains personal items owned by the Mercer family, including two sailor caps, one LP, one shako, and one framed book jacket.
Identification: M003
LanguageEnglish.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Ginger Mercer collection contains personal items owned by the Mercer family, including two sailor caps, one LP, one shako, and one framed book jacket. The two sailor caps belonged to the late Johnny Mercer, and the LP "Two of a Kind" features Mercer and Bobby Darin. The West Point shako was given to Johnny Mercer by Johnny Mercer McClellan, whose father named him after Mercer after meeting Mercer while in the armed forces during World War II. The framed book jacket reads "Our Huckleberry Friend: The Life, Times, and Lyrics of Johnny Mercer," and lists the names of Bob Bach, Ginger Mercer, and Lyle Stuart.


Biography of Ginger Mercer

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.

While a member of the cast of the Garrick Gaieties of 1930 Ginger met an aspiring actor named Johnny Mercer, who had moved to New York from Savannah, Georgia to try his hand at a show business career. Mercer had hoped to win a role in the Gaieties, but instead placed one of his songs in the show and met Ginger, his future wife. Their courtship continued throughout 1930 and 1931, complicated by the separations they endured as each of their shows toured from city to city, and the two were finally married in New York City on June 8, 1931. They raised two children, Georgia Amanda (known as "Mandy," the inspiration for the Mercer song "Mandy is Two") and John Jefferson (known as "Jeff"), during a marriage that lasted 45 years, until Johnny's death on June 25, 1976.

Following her husband's death, Ginger traveled widely and spent much of her time promoting her husband's legacy. In 1982, she founded the Johnny Mercer Foundation, a charitable foundation that awards grants to songwriters and contributes funds to charities and non-profit organizations in the arts, to selected medical sciences, and to projects commemorating Johnny Mercer.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Darin, Bobby
Mercer, Ginger, 1909---Archives
Mercer, Johnny, 1909---Archives
caps (Headgear)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Administrative Information

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Ginger Mercer collection, M003, Popular Music Collection. Special Collections Department, University Library, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Ginger Mercer, 1983;1984.

Processing Information

Processed by Trish Raque Bogdan, 2005.


Related Material

Related materials in this repository: See also the Johnny Mercer Papers, 1885-1981 (M001) and the Johnny and Ginger Mercer papers, 1925-ca. 1992 (M002), in the Popular Music Collection as well as the book Our Huckleberry Friend: The Life, Times, and Lyrics of Johnny Mercer in the University Library General Collection (ML54.6.M45 O9 1982).


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