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Harry B. Smith

Harry Bache Smith (December 28, 1860 – January 1, 1936) was a writer, lyricist and composer. The most prolific of all American stage writers, he is said to have written over 300 librettos and more than 6000 lyrics. Some of his best-known works were librettos for the composers Victor Herbert and Reginald De Koven. He also wrote the book or lyrics for several versions of the Ziegfeld Follies.

Smith was born in Buffalo, New York to Josiah Bailey Smith (born 1837) and Elizabeth Bach (born 1838). According to his autobiography First Nights and First Editions (Boston: Little, Brown, 1931), Smith's actual name at birth was Henry Bach Smith. He married twice. His first wife was Lena Reed (born August 21, 1868), whom he married on October 12, 1887 in Chicago, Illinois. They had a son named Sydney Reed Smith (born July 15, 1892). Smith's second wife was the actress Irene Bentley (1870 – June 3, 1940). They married on November 23, 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts, after she had been divorced on June 12, 1906 by her first husband James Thomas Sothoron, Jr. (1867–1913). Bentley retired from the stage in 1910 and died at Allenhurst, New Jersey. She is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY. While on a brief holiday in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on New Year's Day in 1936, Smith died of a heart attack in his room at the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel.

Smith worked on many of the famous musical theatre productions of his time. His younger brother Robert Bache Smith (June 4, 1875 – November 6, 1951) was also a successful lyricist.

Harry Smith's archive is largely held at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 28th, 1860 (Buffalo), Died January 1st, 1936 (Atlantic City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1894 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, arranger, songwriter, author

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 273 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 355[a] 7-in. 2/2/1896 Miller’s song Janet Whitcombe Female vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 511 7-in. 10/17/1896 Armorer's song Artists vary Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 536 7-in. 11/12/1896 If I were really a king Dan W. Quinn Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 552 7-in. Before 1895 Oh, promise me Artists vary Female vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 953 7-in. 4/17/1896 Star light, star bright Artists vary Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 1000 7-in. Before June 1896 My Angeline Frank Daniels Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 1858 7-in. 6/11/1898 I love thee, I adore thee Albert Campbell Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 1872 7-in. Before Dec. 1898 Brown October ale Artists vary Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 1909 7-in. 10/20/1898 Gypsy love song Eugene Cowles Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 3020 7-in. 5/3/1898 Don José of Seville Jesse Bartlett Davis ; W. H. MacDonald Female-male vocal duet lyricist  
Berliner 3179 7-in. Late 1898 Opening chorus of school girls, Act 1 Chorus from "The fortune teller" Vocal chorus lyricist  
Berliner 3180 7-in. Late 1898 Always do as people say you should Chorus from "The fortune teller" ; Alice Neilson Female vocal solo, with vocal chorus lyricist  
Berliner 3181 7-in. Late 1898 Finale, 2nd Act Chorus from "The fortune teller" ; Trumpet and drums from "The fortune teller" Vocal chorus, with trumpet and drums lyricist  
Berliner 4266 7-in. 5/7/1898 Dreaming, dreaming Henry Clay Barnabee Male vocal solo, with female-male vocal duet lyricist  
Berliner 4267 7-in. 5/7/1898 Dreaming, dreaming Helena Frederick Female vocal solo, with male vocal duet lyricist  
Berliner 4268 7-in. 5/7/1898 Dreaming, dreaming George B. Frothingham Male vocal solo, with female-male vocal duet lyricist  
Berliner 0425 7-in. 8/8/1899 The naughty little clock S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 0759 7-in. 11/25/1899 Say you love me, Sue Arthur Collins Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 0760 7-in. 11/22/1899 Love is a tyrant Albert Campbell Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 0791 7-in. 12/8/1899 Love is a tyrant Florence Hayward Female vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 0795 7-in. Nov. 1899-Jan. 1900 Love is a tyrant Harry Macdonough Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 0985 7-in. 2/19/1900 Cupid and I Florence Hayward Female vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 01039 7-in. 2/28/1900 The queen of Bohemia Harry Macdonough Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 01254 7-in. Apr. 1900 The turnkey's song George Broderick Male vocal solo lyricist  
Berliner 01257 7-in. Apr. 1900 Gypsy love song George Broderick Male vocal solo lyricist  
(Results 1-25 of 273 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Smith, Harry B.," accessed July 25, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103588.

Smith, Harry B.. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 25, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103588.

"Smith, Harry B.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 25 July 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103588

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