A Walk Through Savannah
Personalized Walking Tours with Ted Eldridge
Johnny Mercer, Savannah's native son, won four Academy Awards for songs he wrote: "Moon River," "Days of Wine and Roses," "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening," and "The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe." The most famous American songwriters agreed Johnny was the best, hands down. He co-founded Capitol Records and nurtured the careers of such greats as Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole. He was known as the well-mannnered Southern gentleman, who brought the drawl of the Deep South to Hollywood.
Follow the life of Johnny Mercer from birthplace on Gwinnett Street, through Forsyth Park where he followed bands that played regularly, by the Mercer-Wilder-Williams House (of "Midnight..." fame), Johnny's elementary school, and down to Christ Episcopal Church, where he sang as a choir boy. Hear stories of Johnny's life in Savannah, New York and TinselTown - from the family summer home on Burnside Island where he hunted for huckleberries, to the old crab and shrimp packing company at Pinpoint where he learned the Gullah language he spoke with his Mama, to West Broad Street where he hung out at the Black record stores and jazz clubs, to the million-dollar home he and his wife, Ginger, bought on Moon River.
Ted developed this tour at the request of Savannah's Friends of Johnny Mercer organization, and served as tour guide for the gala benefit at the Armstrong Center and the Johnny Mercer archives at Armstrong Atlantic State University. His is the only Johnny Mercer tour sanctioned by the FJM and the Mercer family. In addition to offering the tour to people like you, Ted developed and has offered a slide presentation, lecture and trolley ride, all-day workshop for Elderhostel groups.