Robert Mersey

From Wind Repertory Project
Robert Mersey


Robert David Mirsky (7 April 1917, New York, N.Y. – 14 December 1994, Baltimore, Md.), known as Robert Mersey, was an American musician, arranger, and record producer.

In the 1950s, Mersey worked as an arranger with Leiber and Stoller. In 1959, he recorded Tracy's Theme, an instrumental written by Robert Ascher which was used in a new NBC production of The Philadelphia Story. The production company thought the tune had hit potential, so they worked out a deal with Columbia Records to issue it as a single. Devon Music created a fictitious artist named Spencer Ross, and retained ownership of the pseudonym for potential future use. Mersey's recording, under the pseudonym Spencer Ross, peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. After Tracy's Theme became a hit, Mersey received permission to use the name Spencer Ross on his next Big Top single, Theme of a Lonely Evening, but after that, the rights to the Ross name reverted to Devon Music.

From the early 1960s he was employed as an arranger and producer at Columbia Records, where he was responsible for records by singers such as Andy Williams, Barbra Streisand and Bobby Vinton. He was also responsible for many of Aretha Franklin's early recordings at Columbia. Mersey also arranged and composed for CBS Television and films, and produced several albums of incidental music, including Great Jazz from Great TV, credited to "Det Moor".

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