Welcome to the Nostalgic Ramber

Hans Jeff Borger is heard on WRGE 97.9 FM in Ocala, FL featuring Christian programming.

"The Nostalgic Rambler" radio show previously heard on Gene Martin & Friends has been suspended due to my commitments at WRGE.

Why a blog? I wrote a book "The Little Grownup: a nostalgic Michigan boyhood" which should appeal to most baby boomers. A mass market book? Well, not yet...but the potential is there! (Be sure to buy it at "finer on line bookstores" everywhere!)

The comments presented in "The Nostalgic Rambler" probably won't be of interest to the masses...anymore. If grandma and grandpa and their friends were still alive, then it would be a different story.

I live in the past. My time warp is a comfortable cocoon even if it sometimes drives my wife crazy. The music of the 1940s and 50s, the stars of those days were big stuff in their day, but are now almost forgotten. Oddly enough, I was born in '64 so those iconic years were for the most part over by that time.

Through "The Nostalgic Rambler" I maybe can help share my love and knowledge for those times and things...all at one time important pieces of Americana but now a bit faded in memory.

The woman who did the blog about cooking all of Julia Childs' French Cuisine Cookbook in a year got a sweet movie deal out of her blog experience. I wouldn't mind that but would be happy to know that you are reading this....and maybe enjoying my time warp, too.

Hans Jeff Borger

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Visit To Johnny Mercer's Savannah

We visited Savannah Georgia recently, the stomping grounds of one the all time great lyricists Johnny Mercer.  He was the man who wrote the words to such songs as "Moon River" and "The Days of Wine and Roses." He also started Capitol Records and was closely affiliated with my favorite singer Jo Stafford and her husband Paul Weston.
                                                 Paul Weston, Jo Stafford, and Johnny
 Johnny was the genius behind Capitol Records with such stars as Nat King Cole under his wings
                                   Bing Crosby and Johnny were admirers of each other

Savannah pays tribute to Johnny with this statue that Heike discovered as we were wondering around. She said "I found Johnny Mercer." I thought to myself "What is she talking about?!" And there he was....

We visited the Bonaventure Cemetery, a very interesting place. The movie "In The Garden Of Good and Evil" starts off there with a picture of Johnny's grave. Clint Eastwood produced that pic and used Johnny's music throughout.

The cemetery had such elaborate graves that they must have cost the families a small fortune. 

Here I am at the Johnny Mercer gravesite: 

This bench at the grave has several of Johnny's biggest hits engraved on it including Ac-cen-thu-ate the Positive, Autumn Leaves, Blues in the Night, Charade, Laura, My Shining Hour, and Atcheson Topeka and Santa Fe.  Click on the song titles to hear them by some of the greatest including Johnny himself who sang quite well and sold a lot records in his early years.

Sadly there was a group of tourists at the grave with the tour guide asking "Does anyone know who Johnny Mercer was?" Nobody did. He was about to continue the tour without much of an explanation, so I started singing "Moon River" and told them that Johnny wrote that. They all recognized it immediately.

There are several bios out there about Johnny. There is also an excellent dvd which Clint Eastwood had a hand in as well entitled 
"Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me."

 Mercer had an interesting life. He was a genius but also an alcoholic with a mean streak. His lyrics are often very haunting and sentimental. Quite a talented man.