Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Huckleberry Friends- Johnny Mercer and Audrey Hepburn


Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful actress and philanthropist. She really had such grace, such a kind and gentle way about her.  You do know all about her, don't you?  If not, please read about her life story here.  She sung the song "Moon River" in the movie "Breakfast At Tiffany's".  This is really her singing voice which I think is very charming.  Of course, she did not sing the songs in "My Fair Lady", those songs were dubbed by Marnie Nixon, much to the dismay of Audrey Hepburn.
 
The lyrics to the song "Moon River" are by Johnny Mercer.  He was an incredible talent and such a nice gentleman that he and Audrey Hepburn are somehow linked together in my mind in a common bond of goodness.  He wrote over 1500 songs and was a co-founder of Capitol Records. (Yes, fifteen HUNDRED songs!)  You may read more about him just here. Johnny Mercer must have really liked the phrase in this song, "My huckleberry friend", since that is what he titled his last album of his songs, "My Huckleberry Friend-Johnny Mercer Sings The Songs of Johnny Mercer.  Now, I have read different meanings for "huckleberry" but I believe that his meaning is from Mark Twain's book, "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".   If you have a huckleberry friend, that is a friend who will stand by you, no matter what.  If you don't understand how that can be from this book, then you need to re-read the book! ( Huck was prepared to turn in the runaway slave that had been caring for him all along the river, but he just couldn't do it. The chapter "You Can't Pray A Lie" is so memorable to me, I remember the name of the chapter!)
Johnny Mercer was from Savannah, Georgia so I hope you will forgive me if I admit that I feel a bit of a kinship with him!  I have been to Savannah, but I have never been to his house which is now also known as the house where "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil" was filmed.
 
Audrey Hepburn's image is now being used for a chocolate TV ad and it will use this song within the ad as well.  Oh dear, perhaps this will send folks to search engines to find out about Audrey Hepburn and Johnny Mercer, if they don't already know them.  The world could use some huckleberry friends just now!  

55 comments:

  1. I like your explanation of "huckleberry" which otherwise has kind of a negative connotation, like the word "hick" or "rube." That chapter in Huckleberry Finn was probably the most radical and subversive thing Mark Twain ever wrote. I hate it when people say that book is racist. It is far from it. The book depicts racism but does not agree with it.

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    1. Oh Debra, I so agree with you. It's a shame that this book is so misunderstood. And I would say that that certain chapter is the closest to preaching that Mark Twain ever did, but he did it in a very subtle way. (Yes, I know his views on God & religion!)
      Brilliant writing from a truly gifted writer.

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  2. Audrey Hepburn is one lady I admire very much. Did I ever tell you how much I admire and like Harry Belafonte? At one of his concerts I was lucky enough to attend, he dedicated the song "September" to her. He sung with great emotion (she had died a few years previously) and at the end of the song raised his head upwards and said "Good Night, Audrey". It was very touching, a moment I won't ever forget. Both me and my Mum had tears in our eyes.

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    1. Meike, Harry Belafonte was one of my Mum's favourite singers. I would have found that very moving too because his rendition of that was so, well, what can I say, emotional and yet so calm.

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    2. Thank you Meike and GB for your comments! How lucky you were to see Harry Belafonte in concert and to hear him sing a song dedicated to Audrey Hepburn.
      And GB, I like that description "emotional and yet so calm."

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  3. She was just the most beautiful, elegant actress around. I know the Japanese were fascinated by her because of her lovely neckline. I remember her singing that song. It brings back memories.

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    1. Yes, she was just so incredibly beautiful, inside and out!

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  4. In her later years she hosted a lovely program called "Gardens of the World" on PBS. I believe she was a spokeswoman for Unicef as well. Her brand of style is long dead, I am afraid.

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    1. Yes, she loved gardens very much and she worked for years for Unicef, such a wonderful person for the world. I pray that there are some who might emulate her.

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  5. O, the incomparable Audrey Hepburn -- I think her beauty and sweetness became most obvious in her later years, when she was working with UNICEF. And Johnny Mercer -- what a talent indeed! Two of my favourite songs by him are Skylark and Come Rain or Come Shine :)

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    1. Yes, we need more people like them!
      How about "Accentuate The Positive" by Johnny Mercer?
      We need that attitude today!

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  6. Every time I see Audrey H. I think what an amazing look she had. She still lives for us, doesn't she? ....one of the greats.

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  7. Audrey was, in her way, totally irreplaceable. She had 'it'.

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    1. The one and only, I think so too.

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  8. Two of my favorites there today. Hepburn and Moon River.

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    1. Thanks, it is a very dreamy song from a very thoughtful woman.

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  9. I like your explanation of huckleberry! I have such a friend; one that I go way back with.

    Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful, classy lady, and won't soon be forgotten. Her spirit lives on. Just look in her eyes; you can see a lovely soul.

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    1. Thanks, Martha! I bet you are huckleberry friend too!
      I so agree, you can tell so much from the eyes, can't you?

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  10. An elegant woman, singing one of my favorite songs. Thanks for the inspiration this morning.

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  11. I have ALWAYS adored Audrey Hepburn...a classic, stylish beauty with a BIG heart.

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    1. Yes, a tiny woman with a big heart, such a lovely person.

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  12. Love the song and coincidentally we spent the day in Savannah yesterday and had lunch at Clary's the restaurant in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

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    1. Well, how about that? Was it good, might be too expensive for me! Oh well, I will just walk by it and take photos! :-)

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  13. We saw the advert and it got us talking about her amazing star quality and wonderful elegance. A legend! Good post!
    Ivan

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    1. Thanks, Ivan! Just think of young people who don't know anything about her, going to the their search engines and hearing "Moon River" for the first time and finding Audrey Hepburn too! So, maybe that chocolate ad isn't so bad! :-)

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  14. Aaaahhh, Audrey Hepburn. Such a classic beauty and soul. One of the things I get asked most often is if I was named after her. How I wish! But I wasn't. I was name after Linda Evan's character from the show "Big Valley". Ha ha! Linda Evans is also a beauty but I'd much rather be named after Audrey!!! So glad you liked the sweetgum heart, Kay! I guessed that you would! XOXOX

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    1. Oh yes, I LOVED the sweetgum heart, so happy to see that!
      I remember you said that you were named after the Linda Evans character from "The Big Valley". I always thought her name was "Audra", maybe that is just how Barbara Stanwyck pronounced it! (To my Southern ears, everyone sounded a bit strange on TV, except for The Beverly HIllbillies!! LOL)

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  15. Such a lovely, naturally elegant woman. Another creative partnership which was very important to Audrey was with the fashion designer Givenchy. And she never looked better than in the movie "Charade" with Cary Grant. They just don't make movie stars like that any more...

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    1. Oh yes, she loved Givenchy and don't even get me started on Cary Grant, I will totally talk your ear off, I love him so!
      Thanks, Carol, for your comment. Hope you are doing well these days! :-)

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  16. Hi Kay! "Moon River" has always been one of my favorite songs! And I really love Audrey Hepburn.
    I did not know that "Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil" was filmed at Johnny Mercer's home. You always come up with these interesting facts! I didn't know that huckleberry meant the things you and Debra mentioned. I always thought it was just something you ate! Have a good day, Kay!

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    1. There seems to be different theories about his words "huckleberry friend" but I quietly confident in my guess of his meaning.
      It was Johnny Mercer's home that the events in "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil" took place. It is not my favorite book in the world, although I know many who like it.

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    1. Thanks, Louise! The water streaming off of Arabia Mountain is truly lovely and makes the moss so very green.

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  18. Audrey Hepburn was indeed a lovely lady. And I do love the song Moon River. It's going through my head now, but I don't mind! :-)

    I like your definition of "huckleberry friend." We all need at least one friend like that in this increasingly shallow world.

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    1. Dear sweet Beth,
      You know how much we need a huckleberry friend, all of us, every one of us!

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  19. Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful lady, and I loved to hear her speak. Such a lovely voice. Johnny Mercer was amazingly talented.
    This is the third time I have heard Savannah, GA mentioned in the last week. I am going to have to look it up and see about a vacation there. I really like your bluebell pics.

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    1. Very beautiful, and you are so right, a beautiful voice too. She really did sing the songs in "My Fair Lady", they were just dubbed over. My husband says that you can now buy the movie and they have put her singing the songs back in, I hope he gets it for me!!
      YES! Visit Savannah and stop off and climb Stone Mountain on the way, you won't regret it!!

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  20. She was such a lady, in the best sense of the word.

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  21. I love Audrey! I have my 2013 Audrey calendar on my wall in my computer room and I love every picture featured. Her movies were wonderful and she was a classic "lady". Thanks for a fun post about her and I learned about Johnny Mercer too!

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    1. Thanks so much! I would save some of those photos and maybe frame them! But hey, that's just the way my mind works! :-)

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  22. Ah, my grandmother took me to see Tammy and the Bachelor, and we loved that song. Audrey Hepburn had amazing grace and style, didn't she!

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    1. Yes, I loved her in every thing I saw her in, such a style and grace, indeed!

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  23. "Georgia Girl With An English Accent" has been included in the Sites To See for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point many new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2013/03/sites-to-see.html

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    1. Why Jerry, you sweet thing, you! I might WISH I had an English accent, but you know I am from Georgia and have a very southern one! No worries, I see your link sends folks over to me, so I thank you very much.
      LOVE that osprey as your photo, LOVE it!
      Many thanks, cheers!

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  24. Audrey Hepburn, still moves me when I see her face, she just seems timeless like one of those souls that just remain riveting forever. I love all her movies, something about her was just so memorizing .

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    1. Oh, thanks so much for your comment, I appreciate it!
      Audrey Hepburn is someone who touched many people, just look at the depth of emotion that has been left from all the comments on this post!
      Thank you for yours. xx

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  25. Kay, one of my favourite movies, song and actress! Did you ever see the gardening show she hosted back in the 90's? It was called 'Gardens of The World', where she took you one a tour of these incredible gardens. Such a gentle soul she was.

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    1. Hey Jim!
      I have heard of it, but I think my son was quite young then, and I must have been busy with him and I missed it. For Pete's sake, why don't they repeat something like that? Maybe someone in programming could read my blog, and take the hint!
      Thanks for your comment. :-)

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  28. Hi!
    You are actually incorrect about "huckleberry friend" being a reference at all to the Twain book. Johnny Mercer said many a time when he was asked about it that when he was a very young boy he used to pick huckleberries with his boyhood friends and that it was one of the sweetest memories he had of his childhood.

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    1. I have read this same thing too, but that is the great thing about wonderful songs, it can become to mean something else to the listener rather than what the writer actually intended, it can become to mean even more than just picking berries as a child.

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