Harry Austin Tierney (May 21, 1890 – March 22, 1965) was a successful American composer of musical theatre, best known for long-running hits such as Irene (1919), Broadway's longest-running show of the era (620 performances), Kid Boots (1923) and Rio Rita (1927), one of the first musicals to be turned into a talking picture (and later remade starring Abbott and Costello).
Born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, he was most active between about 1910 and 1930, often collaborating with the lyricist Joseph McCarthy. His mother was a pianist, his father a trumpeter, and he himself toured as a concert pianist in his early years. After a brief spell working in London for a music publisher, he returned to the United States in 1916. Over the next couple of decades many of his songs were used in the famous Ziegfeld Follies, and were performed by the premier singers of the day, such as Eddie Cantor, Anna Held and Edith Day.
The year 1919 saw his greatest Broadway hit, the show Irene, which contained perhaps his most well-known song, "Alice Blue Gown", as well as "Castle of Dreams," an adaptation of Chopin's Minute Waltz. This same show was made into a film in 1926, then remade in 1940 with Anna Neagle and Ray Milland, and again for the stage in 1973 with Debbie Reynolds. The original show broke the then record for the longest running show, at 620 performances.
Other shows followed with varying success, in particular, Rio Rita (collaborating with Joseph McCarthy, and one of RKO's first forays in converting a musical to the silver screen), and Kid Boots, Dixiana (1929) and Half Shot at Sunrise (1930) were also made into films. Tierney's successes after this period were sketchy (apart from the film remakes of Irene), but he was elected into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
Harry Tierney is interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in New Rochelle, New York.
Birth and Death Data: Born May 21st, 1890 (Perth Amboy), Died March 22nd, 1965 (New York City)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1912 - 1941
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, songwriter, piano
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 205 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||C-18693||12-in.||11/23/1916||Sometime||Raymond Hitchcock||Male vocal solo, with male vocal quartet and orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-18991||12-in.||1/16/1917||How's every little thing in Dixie||Victor Military Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||C-18992||12-in.||1/16/1917||Follow me||Victor Military Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-19108||10-in.||1/22/1917||She's Dixie all the time||American Quartet||Male vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-19615||10-in.||4/23/1917||It's time for every boy to be a soldier||Charles Hart||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-20159||12-in.||6/25/1917||For you a rose||Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||C-20362||12-in.||7/3/1917||She's Dixie all the time||Conway's Band||Band||composer|
|Victor||B-20460||10-in.||7/30/1917||M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i||Frances White||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-22093||10-in.||9/6/1918||'N' everything||Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||B-22214||10-in.||8/15/1918||Everything is hunky dory down in honky tonky town||Marion Harris||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-22489||10-in.||12/27/1918||I found the end of the rainbow||Charles Harrison||Male vocal solo, with celeste, violin, and orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-23078||10-in.||7/17/1919||My baby's arms||John Steel||Male vocal solo, with violin and orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-23416||10-in.||10/16/1919||My baby's arms||Pietro||Accordion solo||composer|
|Victor||B-23599||10-in.||1/26/1920||Alice blue gown||Edith Day||Female vocal solo, with violin obbligato and orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-23700||10-in.||1/26/1920||Irene||Edith Day||Female vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||C-23860||12-in.||3/19/1920||Irene||Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||C-24140||12-in.||5/20/1920||Gems from Irene||Victor Light Opera Company||Vocal chorus and soloists, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-24513||10-in.||10/5/1920||Alice blue gown||Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||B-24654||10-in.||10/21/1920||Where do mosquitos go in the wintertime?||Billy Murray||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||B-24819||10-in.||1/25/1921||Why don't you?||All Star Trio ; All Star Trio Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||C-24819||12-in.||3/2/1921||Why don't you?||All Star Trio ; All Star Trio Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||B-27153||10-in.||11/15/1922||Journey's end||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||B-27874||10-in.||5/2/1923||Saw Mill River Road||Great White Way Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||B-28973||10-in.||11/20/1923||Take oh take those lips away||Brooke Johns Orchestra ; Brooke Johns ; Jack Shilkret||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||B-29161||10-in.||12/27/1923||Along the old lake trail||Paul Whiteman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Tierney, Harry," accessed July 23, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108717.
Tierney, Harry. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 23, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108717.
"Tierney, Harry." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 23 July 2021.
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