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Monica Mancini: The Dreams of Johnny Mercer

Monica Mancini’s beautiful singing of “Skylark” bolsters the proposition that Johnny Mercer was a poet, the greatest of all American lyricists. She underlines the cleverness of “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive,” “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” and “The Weekend of a Private Secretary,” and the ironic opportunism of “It Had Better Be Tonight.” Seven other sets of lyrics discovered after Mercer died and set to music by Barry Manilow are not in the same league but, then, “Skylark” is formidable competition for any song, including all the rest of Mercer’s except “Early Autumn.”

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