Lyricist Henry Creamer wrote several major traditional pop songs including "After You've Gone" (1918) and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" (1922). Born in 1879 in Richmond, VA, Creamer worked in a music company in New York before performing vaudeville across the U.S. and Europe, as a singer and dancer. During this time, Creamer was usually teamed with pianist Turner Layton, with whom he wrote their vaudeville material. Creamer went on to write for a few minor Broadway shows during the 1920s, including Strut Miss Lizzie (1922). His major hit songs include "That's a Plenty" (1909), "Dear Old Southland" (1921), "Alabama Stomp" (1926), and "If I Could Be With You" (1930), a song which Ruth Etting successfully recorded and which later became the theme for McKinney's Cotton Pickers. Creamer collaborated with other composers over the course of his career, including J.C. Johnson, Jimmy Johnson, and vaudevillian Bert Williams. Creamer also co-founded Club Clef, a black entertainers group.
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