Jerry Herman

Johnny Mercer Award

Jerry Herman first burst upon the Broadway scene as the young creator of music and lyrics for “Milk and Honey,” a successful musical which later was nominated for both a Tony and a Grammy Award.

The phenomenal “Hello Dolly” came next in 1964, resulting not only in a Tony Award but also awards for Best Composer and Best Lyricist from Variety, the show-business trade paper. Louis Armstrong’s single record of the title song became one of the most successful ever to come out of a Broadway musical, and Carol Channing’s original cast LP brought Herman a Gold Record and a Grammy. When asked to musicalize the Lawrence and Lee play, “Auntie Mame,” Herman’s work helped bring stardom to Angela Lansbury, and another Variety Best Lyricist Award, another Gold Record and another Grammy for himself. The show, “Dear World,” in 1969, won Angela Lansbury her second Tony Award in a Herman musical and made Herman the only composer-lyricist to ever have three productions running simultaneously on Broadway.

“Mack and Mabel,” starring Robert Preston and Bernadette Peters, his own personal favorite score, opened in 1974, followed by “The Grand Tour,” with Joel Grey in 1978.

Herman also contributed songs to Tommy Tune’s “A Day in Hollywood,” in 1980.“La Cage Aux Folles,” which opened at New York’s Palace Theater in 1983, broke the all-time box office record at the theater and produced an Outer Critics Circle Award and Tony Award as Best Musical.

Herman also won a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Best Score for a musical “Jerry’s Girls,” a revue of his life’s work, has played on Broadway and in every major American city. Some of the stars who have been spotlighted in this wonderful compilation of Herman’s hit music are Carol Channing, Leslie Uggams, Chita Rivera, Dorothy Loudon, Andrea McArdle andJo Anne Worley. He was a proud member of The Songwriters Hall of Fame (1982) and The Theatre Hall of Fame.