Best remembered for "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," James F. Hanley was an archetypal Tin Pan Alley professional who composed numerous songs for stage and film, mostly during the early '20s. Hanley was born February 17, 1892, in Renselaer, IN, and that would inform his first major hit, 1917's "(Back Home Again In) Indiana"; written with lyricist Ballard MacDonald, "Indiana" was in part a tribute to Paul Dresser's sentimental, then-recent hit "On the Banks of the Wabash." Hanley and MacDonald teamed up for another significant success, 1920's "The Rose of Washington Square," which became Fanny Brice's signature song; Brice also popularized a follow-up, "Second Hand Rose." Hanley subsequently worked with lyricist Joe Goodwin, which produced songs like "Gee, but I Hate to Go Home Alone" and "Just a Thought of You." Hanley had little ...
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Artist Biography

by Steve Huey

Best remembered for "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," James F. Hanley was an archetypal Tin Pan Alley professional who composed numerous songs for stage and film, mostly during the early '20s. Hanley was born February 17, 1892, in Renselaer, IN, and that would inform his first major hit, 1917's "(Back Home Again In) Indiana"; written with lyricist Ballard MacDonald, "Indiana" was in part a tribute to Paul Dresser's sentimental, then-recent hit "On the Banks of the Wabash." Hanley and MacDonald teamed up for another significant success, 1920's "The Rose of Washington Square," which became Fanny Brice's signature song; Brice also popularized a follow-up, "Second Hand Rose." Hanley subsequently worked with lyricist Joe Goodwin, which produced songs like "Gee, but I Hate to Go Home Alone" and "Just a Thought of You." Hanley had little success after 1925, save for one major hit in 1935 with "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," for which Hanley wrote the lyrics as well as the music; a young Judy Garland recorded the song and turned it into a standard. Hanley passed away in Douglaston, NY, in 1942.