• The Song
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composition date
Johnny Mercer
Hoagy Carmichael

Couldn't cash the check

Johnny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael won $1,250 each from ASCAP for the song. Red Norvo recalled, “Mildred [Bailey] and I were living in Queens at the time. Johnny phoned me on a Friday. He said he’d just got this check from ASCAP and couldn’t cash it. We told him to come out to our apartment. When he got there, Mildred told him to call Ginger and tell her to take a cab. She said we’d pay for it. Ginger came and we spent the weekend with them and on Monday morning, Mildred went to her bank and got the check cashed for him.”

Mighty logical

Hoagy Carmichael: "[Johnny Mercer] walked in one day and I was sitting in the chair, the door was open, summertime. He knocked, and I said, “Come in!” And I’m sitting in the chair, half-dozing. This is the absolute truth. I said, “What’s on your mind?” He said, “Well, I thought we might try to write a song.” I said, “Have you got any idea?” He said, “I thought I’d like to write a song called ‘Lazy Bones.’ What do you think of that title?” I said, “With this kind of summer we’re having in New York, and what with the Depression, and nobody working, it sounds mightly logical.”

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