Harry Archer

Biography by

b. Harry Auracher, 21 February 1888, Creston, Iowa, USA, d. 23 April 1960, New York, USA. A composer, band leader and instrumentalist, Archer was educated at Michigan Military Academy and Princetown University.…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

b. Harry Auracher, 21 February 1888, Creston, Iowa, USA, d. 23 April 1960, New York, USA. A composer, band leader and instrumentalist, Archer was educated at Michigan Military Academy and Princetown University. He learned to play most brass instruments, and led his own outfits before joining the legendary Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Ironically, more than a decade after Archer had made his Broadway debut with the score for the short-lived The Pearl Maiden (1912, with Earle C. Anthony, Arthur F. Kales), his former boss provided a theatre orchestra for Little Jesse James, the biggest hit show of the 1922/3 Broadway season. It contained Archer and Harlan Thomas’ appealing ‘I Love You’ (‘I love you/That’s all that I can say’), which was introduced by John Boles and Margaret Wilson. The song was popularized by Whiteman, Lewis James, and Charles Hart, while Frank Sinatra recorded it in the 50s. In an attempt to recreate the success of Little Jesse James, Archer and Thomas contributed the scores to several other Broadway musicals, including My Girl (1924, ‘You And I’, ‘A Girl Like You’), Merry, Merry (1925, ‘It Must Be Love’), and Twinkle, Twinkle (1926, ‘Find A Girl’, ‘You Know, I Know’), but without avail. Archer’s last Broadway credit, Just A Minute (1928, with Walter O’Keefe, H.C. Greene), also failed to run for long. Archer’s other numbers included ‘Rainbow’, ‘Alone In My Dreams’, ‘E’vry Little Note’ and ‘My Own’. Among his lyricists was Howard Johnson who, with other composers, was responsible for standards such as ‘(I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For) Ice Cream’ and ‘What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?’.