Percy Wenrich (January 23, 1887 – March 17, 1952) was a United States composer of ragtime and popular music.
Born in Joplin, Missouri to Daniel Wenrich and Mary Ray, he left for Chicago in 1901 where he attended classes at the Chicago Musical College. Wenrich moved on to New York City around 1907 to work as a Tin Pan Alley composer, but his music retains a Missouri folk flavor. He composed at least eighteen rags, including "Ashy Africa," "Noodles," "Peaches and Cream" (1905), "Crab Apples," and "The Smiler" (1907). His songs include "Wabash Avenue After Dark" and the hits "Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet" (1909, lyrics by Stanley Murphy), "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose" (1914, lyrics by Jack Mahoney) and "Minnetonka" (1921, lyrics by Gus Kahn).
"If It's Good Enough for Washington It's Good Enough for Me" (1908, lyrics by Ren Shields) was a song about a homeless man sleeping on a bench in a public square with statues of Washington, Jefferson, McKinley, Grant and Lee.
Wenrich married vaudeville performer Dolly Connolly and in 1911 wrote the hit "Red Rose Rag" for her with lyrics by Edward Madden. In 1912, Wenrich and Madden had another hit with "Moonlight Bay." Wenrich and Connolly toured together for many years.
In the late 1930s, Wenrich and several of his fellow hitmakers formed a sensational review called "Songwriters on Parade", performing all across the Eastern seaboard on the Loew's and Keith circuits.
Wenrich's last memorable song "Sail Along, Silv'ry Moon" was published in 1937. He died in New York City in 1952 at the age of 65.
Birth and Death Data: Born January 23, 1887 (Joplin), Died March 17, 1952 (New York City)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1903 - 1949
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, lyricist, songwriter, tenor vocal
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 250 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||[Pre-matrix A-]2027||7-in.||ca. 1903||Put on your old gray bonnet||Harry Macdonough||Male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||E-3382||8-in.||5/11/1906||Peaches and cream||Ada Jones ; Len Spencer||Descriptive scene and vocal, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-3382||10-in.||5/11/1906||Peaches and cream||Ada Jones ; Len Spencer||Descriptive scene and vocal, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-4918||10-in.||11/9/1907||The smiler||Ossman Trio||Instrumental trio||composer|
|Victor||B-6383||10-in.||9/2/1908||Rainbow||Haydn Quartet ; Billy Murray||Male vocal solo and male vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-6504||10-in.||10/5/1908||Persian lamb rag||Vess L. Ossman||Banjo solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||B-6763||10-in.||2/1/1909||Naughty eyes||Billy Murray||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-7037||10-in.||5/4/1909||The flower girl||Arthur Pryor's Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-7057||10-in.||5/7/1909||Sweetmeats two-step||Arthur Pryor's Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-7063||10-in.||5/11/1909||The recipe for love||Frank C. Stanley ; Elise Stevenson||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-8079||10-in.||6/28/1909||Dublin daisies||Peerless Quartet||Male vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-8243||10-in.||9/21/1909||Dublin daisies march||Arthur Pryor's Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-8297||10-in.||10/14/1909||Put on your old grey bonnet||Haydn Quartet||Male vocal quartet||composer|
|Victor||B-8429||10-in.||12/7/1909||Jungle moon||Arthur Pryor's Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-8432||10-in.||12/8/1909||Lilac blossoms||Arthur Pryor's Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-8671||10-in.||3/1/1910||Smiler rag||Victor Orchestra||Orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-8989||10-in.||5/24/1910||Silver bell||Peerless Quartet||Male vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-9036||10-in.||5/31/1910||Sugar moon||Collins and Harlan||Male vocal duet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-9385||10-in.||8/29/1910||Mandy, how do you do?||Ada Jones ; Billy Murray||Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-9582||10-in.||10/26/1910||Silver bell||"That Girl" Quartet||Female vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-9708||10-in.||12/13/1910||Silver bell||Haydn Quartet||Male vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-9987||10-in.||2/21/1911||Alamo rag||"That Girl" Quartet||Female vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-10020||10-in.||3/1/1911||Alamo rag||Peerless Quartet||Male vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Wenrich, Percy," accessed August 12, 2022, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105790.
Wenrich, Percy. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 12, 2022, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105790.
"Wenrich, Percy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 12 August 2022.
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