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Jean Bach oral history interview, April 25, 1995

 Item — othertype: Oral History
Identifier: M128_BachJ

Scope and Contents

Interviewed by Chris Paton. In this interview, which took place on April 25, 1995, Jean Bach discusses her remembrances of songwriter Johnny Mercer. She speaks at some length of the occasion when she first met Mercer, at a party on board a boat on Lake Michigan in about 1939. She also discusses other events such as the Newport Jazz Festival, vacations at the beach, a New Year's vacation in Savannah, and parties hosted by the Bachs. In the course of the conversation, she talks about Mercer's personality, work habits, his friends, his social life, his relationship with other musicians (including André Previn, Judy Garland, and Ray Charles), his pride in his Southern heritage, and his fascination with African-American culture.


  • Creation: April 25, 1995


Restrictions on Access

Oral history available for research.

Biographical Note

Jean Enzinger Bach, who was born in Chicago in 1918, was educated at Vassar College. She served as a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Times and the Chicago American (1939-1946), a writer for WNEW (1946-1952), a TV producer (1952-1955), and a free-lance writer (1955-1960). In 1960 she became a producer for WOR radio in New York. Her film A Great Day in Harlem, which she produced, achieved great notoriety and was nominated for an Oscar. She was married to the television producer and writer Bob Bach, co-author with Ginger Mercer of Our Huckleberry Friend: The Life, Times, and Lyrics of Johnny Mercer. Jean Bach made Mercer's acquaintance in the 1930s when she was a reporter, and both she and her husband remained friends with Mercer throughout his life.


2 item(s) (audio (50:02 duration) transcript (28 pages))

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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