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James Hanley

James Frederick Hanley

Composer, Lyricist, Pianist

(1892 - 1942)

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Big Bands Database


Films at imdb.com
On Broadway at ibdb.com
"Indiana" at parlorsongs.com
James Hanley worked in vaudeville before writing for Broadway. In 1917 he wrote the popular song, “Indiana,” with Ballard MacDonald, and in 1925 he collaborated on “Just a Cottage Small (By a Waterfall)” with “Buddy” De Sylva.

As a staff writer for the Shuberts, he contributed to several Ziegfeld shows. Comedy star Fanny Brice made “Rose of Washington Square,” written with MacDonald in 1920, her signature song, and it became the title of a 1939 film starring Alice Faye (Rose of Washington Square). “Second Hand Rose” (1921), written with Grant Clarke, was also popularized by Brice. Barbra Streisand sang it in Funny Girl (1968), the film loosely based on Brice’s life. Streisand tied for the Best Actress Oscar that year with Kathryn Hepburn.

Hanley also contributed to two Al Jolson vehicles. He wrote lyrics for Robinson Crusoe, Jr. (1916), with music by Sigmund Romberg, and collaborated on the music for Big Boy (1925). He also wrote for other revues, George White’s Scandals and Greenwich Village Follies. His first and most successful show, for which he and Eddie Dowling wrote the book, music, and lyrics, was Honeymoon Lane (1926) which featured Kate Smith in her Broadway debut. Its hits were “Dreams for Sale” and “Little White House at the End of Honeymoon Lane” with additional lyrics by Irving Caesar.

In 1927 Hanley and Dowling collaborated on Sidewalks of New York. Hanley’s last Broadway show was Thumbs Up (1935) written with Henry Sullivan. But Hanley wrote the music and lyrics for the very popular song from that show, “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” which Judy Garland recorded in 1939 and again in 1943, when it charted on Your Hit Parade.

- Sandra Burlingame


Modern Jazz Quartet (Includes "Indiana")

Two Brothers

Pete Condoli, Conte Candoli (Includes "Indiana")

East of the Sun

Scott Hamilton (Includes "Indiana")

Super Soul

Richard Groove Holmes (Includes "Indiana")

Classic Judy Garland: The Capitol Years 1955-1965

Judy Garland (Includes "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart")
Reading and Viewing

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Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif, Kay Medford, Anne Francis, Walter Pidgeon

Funny Girl

Sony Pictures


Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Al Jolson

Rose of Washington Square (1939)


Buster Keaton, Cliff Edwards

The Sidewalks of New York (1931)


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