August 17, 2009

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Jazz pianist Ronny Whyte and his quartet will celebrate Johnny Mercer's 100th birthday with a free jazz concert Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 8 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell University.

The concert is the first in the semester of the ongoing Janet Weis Cabaret Jazz Series, which is made possible by funding from the Weis family.

Joining Whyte will be Boots Maleson, bass; David Silliman, drums; and Joel Perry, guitar.

Ronny Whyte: photo by John MeixnerOutstanding jazz pianist
Considered a premier interpreter of classic American popular song, Whyte also is an outstanding jazz pianist and an award-winning songwriter. He has been featured on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz on National Public Radio.

He is an ASCAP Award-winning songwriter; his lyric 'Forget the Woman' was recorded by Tony Bennett, and his music for 'The Party Upstairs' won the MAC Award for Best Song of 2006.

For two years, Whyte appeared in New York City in the hit musical "Our Sinatra" and on the show's big-band-version 90-city tours. He has been twice featured at New York's JVC Jazz Festival and has been inducted into the Cabaret Jazz Hall of Fame.

He also produces and hosts Midtown Jazz at Midday at St. Peter's in Manhattan, a weekly jazz concert series.  For more information, visit

Johnny Mercer bio
Lyricist, composer and singer Johnny Mercer had hit songs with Bing Crosby in the late 1930s, with Jo Stafford ("Candy') and on his own, especially "Accentuate the Positive." On the radio he sang with Benny Goodman and had his own shows, including "Johnny Mercer's Music Shop." He wrote or co-wrote more than 1,100 songs, including "Blues in the Night," "That Old Black Magic," "One For My Baby," "Come Rain or Come Shine" (all with Harold Arlen); "Lazy Bones" and "Skylark" with Hoagy Carmichael; "I'm an Old Cowhand," "I Remember You," "P.S. I Love You," "Jeepers Creepers," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "When a Woman Loves a Man," "Too Marvelous for Words," and "Fools Rush In."

He won Academy Awards for "The Atchison, Topeka and The Santa Fe" (1946, with Harry Warren), "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" (1951, with Hoagy Carmichael), "Moon River' (1961, with Henry Mancini) and "Days of Wine and Roses" (1962, with Mancini).

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