Moon River

It’s still the anniversary of the birth of Johnny Mercer. The late, great Nancy Lamott devoted a magnificent disc to Mercer’s songs. She died way before her time in 1995 at the age of 43, on the cusp of fame. Terry Teachout introduced me to Lamott in a moving profile of her in the New York Times; he subsequently described her as “the best cabaret singer I ever heard[.]”

I hope my colleagues will indulge my observation of the day once more once with Ms. Lamott’s version of “Moon River” — music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Recorded within two weeks of her death, this was her last public performance. She turns a poignant song into a heartbreaking testament.

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