The Songs of Johnny Mercer:

Music Americana

Rod MacDonald and the Humdinge
Music / Arts & Letters

Course Description

The favorite songwriter of John Lennon, Johnny Mercer wrote some of the greatest lyrics sung by Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Hoagy Carmichael, and many others, winning four Academy Awards. From the dreamy images of Lazybones to the wordplay of Jeepers Creepers, from the barstool weariness of One For My Baby to the wary manifesto That’s Life, he topped the charts and radio waves with witty, soulful and insightful lyrics, co-written with the top composers of his time. Today, the Songwriters Hall of Fame calls its top honor "The Johnny Mercer Award," remembering the “Man of a Thousand Songs.” His work is as popular as ever. Join Rod MacDonald & the Humdingers for a fun and low-decibel tour through the life, music and genius of this unique artist, as told through his songs.

About the Instructor

  • Rod MacDonald began his career as a singer/ songwriter in Greenwich Village in New York City in 1973. He has 21 songs in the Smithsonian Folkways collection and has released 15 cds, including the 2018 release Beginning Again, and recently published his first novel, The Open Mike. He performs in festivals, concerts and clubs throughout North America, Europe, and locally, solo and with the bands Big Brass Bed and Rod & the Humdingers. He was named Best Local Acoustic Performer in Broward and Palm Beach counties by the New Times and one of the “Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County" by The Palm Beach Post. Previous Music Americana courses include, The Birth of Rock & Roll, The Great American Songbook, and Mastery of the Art.

    Bill Meredith, drums, is the backbone of several Palm Beach County rock and roll bands, including Big Brass Bed and Illumination. He has toured throughout the US and Canada, and appears on more than a dozen CDs.

    Brad Keller, keyboards, has performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival and with Maynard Ferguson and the Ink Spots. He is the Jazz piano instructor at Palm Beach State College and has taught music in Palm Beach County public schools for 20 years. He is also the co-author of the Jazz Cats books used internationally to introduce young students to jazz.

    Doug Lindsey, bass and vocals, has been playing in South Florida bands for 30 years.

    John Smotherman, lead guitar, plays with Big Brass Bed, Illumination and several Palm Beach County bands. His exquisite solos caused the Palm Beach Post to label him one of the "Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County."