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Jewogle - Harry von Tilzer

Harry von Tilzer

Harry von Tilzer

Harry Von Tilzer (July 8, 1872 - January 10, 1946) was a very popular United States songwriter.


Von Tilzer was born in Goshen, Indiana under the name Aaron Gumbinsky which he shortened to Harry Gumm. He ran away and joined a traveling circus at age 14, where he took his new name by adding 'Von' to his mother's maiden name 'Tilzer'. Harry soon proved successful playing piano and calliope and writing new tunes and incidental music for the shows. He continued doing this in Burlesque and Vaudeville shows for some years, writing many tunes which were not published or which he sold to entertainers for 1 or 2 dollars. In 1898 he sold his song "My Old New Hampshire Home" to a publisher for $15, and watched it become a national hit, selling over 2 million copies of the sheet music. This prompted him to become a professional songwriter.

He was made a partner of the Shapiro Bernstein Publishing Company. His 1900 number "A Bird in a Gilded Cage" became one of the biggest hits of the age. Von Tilzer became one of the best known Tin Pan Alley songwriters. In 1902 Von Tilzer formed his own publishing company, where he was soon joined by his younger brother Albert Von Tilzer.

Harry Von Tilzer's hits included "A Bird in a Gilded Cage", "Cubanola Glide", "Wait 'Til The Sun Shines Nellie", "Old King Tut", "All Alone", "Mariutch", "The Ragtime Goblin Man," "I Love My Wife, But Oh You Kid!", "They Always Pick On Me", "I Want A Girl (Just Like The Girl That Married Dear Old Dad)", "And The Green Grass Grew All Around", "On the Old Fall River Line", and many others.

He died in New York City on January 10, 1946.

Work on Broadway

  • The Fisher Maiden (1903) - opera - composer
  • The Man From Now (1906) - musical - featured composer
  • The Dairymaids (1907) - musical - featured songwriter
  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1910 (1910) - revue - featured composer for "I'll Get You Yet"
  • Doctor Jazz (1975) - musical - featured songwriter for "I Love It"
  • Tintypes (1980) - revue - featured songwriter
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