Savannah marks 100th birthday of Johnny Mercer

AP News
Posted: Nov 18, 2009 2:08 PM

Jeepers creepers! Savannah's got a Johnny Mercer statue for tourists' peepers.

The Savannah-born songwriter was honored in his hometown Wednesday with the unveiling of his lifesize likeness cast in bronze. About 150 onlookers turned out to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the celebrated lyricist, who gave a poetic grace and a slangy tang to songs such as "Moon River" and "Jeepers Creepers."

The statue in historic Savannah's Ellis Square gives Mercer an honor ordinarily reserved for the 18th-century founders and Revolutionary War heroes of Georgia's oldest city.

The songwriter's grandson, Jim Corwin of Los Angeles, said Mercer likely would have been embarrassed by all the fuss.