Year By Year

1931

Marries Ginger Meehan at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City (June 8).

1932

Performs with bandleader Paul Whiteman on a live NBC radio broadcast after winning Whiteman’s “Pontiac Youth of America” talent contest.

Makes first recording, “My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms” as part of the “Sizzling One-Step Medley” with the Nitecaps.

1933

First hit song, “Lazybones,” written with Hoagy Carmichael.

ca. 1935

Hired by RKO to write for and act in motion pictures, and moves to Hollywood; appears in the films Old Man Rhythm and To Beat the Band.

Mid-to-late 1930’s

Begins writing with Richard Whiting, Harry Warren, and other major Hollywood composers. Has several hit songs including “Too Marvelous for Words,” “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby,” and “I’m an Old Cowhand.”

1938

Mercer and Richard Whiting write “Hooray for Hollywood” for the film Hollywood Hotel. The song later becomes a staple of the annual Academy Award ceremonies.

First “Best Song” Academy Award nomination for “Jeepers Creepers” written with Harry Warren (from the film Going Places).

1939

Mercer appears as a guest on the Camel Caravan radio program featuring the Benny Goodman Orchestra. He soon becomes a regular on the show and pens the lyrics to “And the Angels Sing” after an on-air challenge presented by Benny Goodman.

1940

Elected to serve on the board of directors for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Mercer’s first Broadway musical, Walk With Music, written with Hoagy Carmichael opens on June 4.