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Ginger Mercer collection

 Collection
Identifier: M003

  • Staff Only

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.

Dates

  • circa 1960-1983

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

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.

Extent

2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

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.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Ginger Mercer in three accessions, 1983 (M1983-04 and M1983-06), 1984 (M1984-13).

Processing Information

Processed by Trish Raque Bogdan at the item level, 2005.

Title
Ginger Mercer:
Subtitle
A Guide to Her Collection at Georgia State University Library
Status
Completed
Author
Trish Raque Bogdan
Date
2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2880
404-413-2881 (Fax)