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Tripping the Light Fantastic

BackFront

Author: Bud Mercer

13-Digit ISBN: 978-0-9778311-7-3 (Joshua Tree Publishing)

Specs: 6" x 9" Perfect Bound  204 Pages

Publication Date: January, 2007

Retail Price: $18.95

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This book is the real-life story of Bud and Jim Mercer who worked as a team in show business for more than 70 years–from the early days of the Great Depression into the 21st century. Bud Mercer’s memoir is filled with anecdotes about the famous and not-so-famous people who shared the stage with The Mercer Brothers. It is an inspirational story of perseverance, dedication, and the love of show business.

The story begins in Dayton, Ohio, where Bud was born in 1913, and ends in 2003, in Palm Springs, California, with their eleven-year run with the Palm Springs Follies. In between, there were many towns, stages, performances, adventures, and moments to remember—and Bud does the remembering for us.

The Mercer Brothers’ professional career began on stage in Los Angeles during the depression. Performing in nightclubs and theaters primarily as a dance act—thus Tripping the Light Fantastic—the brothers eventually added comedy routines, banjos, and other instruments to their repertoire increasing their appeal and marketability and changing the act over the years to fit the times. With the exception of two brief interludes, one of which was WWII, the brothers made a living performing their act—not as stars, but as talented professionals.

So, for those of you who have decided to read this epic hang on to Bud’s coattails and Trip the Light Fantastic through the evolution of show business as seen through the eyes of this Happy Old Hoofer.

Author Bud Mercer

Bud MercerBud Mercer has spent most of his life in show business—in one form or another. He worked with his brother Jim as The Mercer Brothers for more than 71 years. A talented dancer, singer, musician, and comedian, he still performs today.

His career took him from vaudeville houses on the Orpheum, Paramount, and RKO Circuits to playing the ultimate theater for vaudevillians—the Palace Theater in New York.

The motion picture industry lured Bud and his brother to Hollywood. They dreamed of stardom while they worked as dance extras in movie musicals for several years before World War II. When the war broke out, Bud enlisted in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. However, the program ended before he had a chance to earn his wings. He used some of his training to get a job with Western Airlines while he waited for his brother, Jim, to get his discharge from the Service so they could return to show business.

Following the war, USO tours and then live television were next on Bud and Jim’s agenda. They performed in dinner theaters around the country, followed with the shows Baggy Pants, Giggles Galore, and Sugar Daddies.

At age 76, Bud believed it was time to retire and write his memoirs, so he returned to college to take a writing course. However, it wasn’t long before show business called the Mercer Brothers back to the theater. In 1992, they revived their act for the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies and continued for eleven seasons with the Follies until Jim’s death in 2003.

Today, Bud continues his writing, primarily poetry, but has plans for another book—this one about his spiritual journey through life.