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Harry Williams

Harry Hiram Williams

Composer, Lyricist, Publisher, Film Director

(1879 - 1922)

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Under Neil Moret bio at nfo.net


History of "Mickey" at parlorson...
Audio of "Mickey" at goldensilen...
Lyrics for "Mickey" at lyricspla...

Harry Williams wrote his first big hit in 1905 with Egbert Van Alstyne, “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree.” The duo worked together on the vaudeville circuit and wrote and published other songs, several with Indian titles such as “Seminole,” “Tippecanoe,” and “Navajo.” From 1903 to 1910 Williams contributed to several Broadway shows. In 1912 he wrote the classic WWI song “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” with Jack Judge. He also supplied the lyric for Art Hickman’s 1917 composition, “Rose Room.” Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers danced to “Rose Room” in the 1939 film The Story of Vernon and Irene Castleand the song has been recorded by artists as diverse as Dick Hyman, Charlie Christian, Nat “King” Cole, Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt, and Don Fagerquist.

Williams later became the chief collaborator of songwriter and music publisher Charles N. Daniels, also known as Neil Moret. Together they wrote several hit songs, including “Mickey” which became the title song for a Mack Sennett silent movie starring Mabel Normand, and it started the trend toward thematic film music. Williams worked in the film industry with Sennett’s Keystone Studios, probably as a gag writer, and with Fatty Arbuckle.

The mysterious and shocking murder of Paramount producer William Desmond Taylor in 1922 had the news media looking under all sorts of rocks. Williams’ name surfaced in coverage of the murder, and he was referred to as a drug addict, although the press was careful to state that he suffered from tuberculosis and probably took medication to alleviate the pain of the disease. He died a few months after Taylor.

- Sandra Burlingame

From the Age of Swing

Dick Hyman

Solo Flight (1939-1941)

Charlie Christian


Nat King Cole
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edna May Oliver, Walter Brennan, Lew Fields

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle


Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

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