John W. Bratton

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b. 21 January 1867, Wilmington, Delaware, USA, d. 7 February 1947, Brooklyn, New York, USA. A composer, producer, and performer, Bratton studied at the Philadelphia College of Music before becoming a…
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b. 21 January 1867, Wilmington, Delaware, USA, d. 7 February 1947, Brooklyn, New York, USA. A composer, producer, and performer, Bratton studied at the Philadelphia College of Music before becoming a singer and actor in various musical shows. Eventually, he joined with Johnny Leffler to form the production company Leffler And Bratton, and in the first decade of the twentieth century also composed all or most of the scores for the musical comedies Star And Garter (1900), Hodge, Podge, & Co. (1900), The Liberty Belles (1901), The Man From China (1904), The Pearl And The Pumpkin (1905), Buster Brown (1905), and The Newlyweds And Their Baby (1909). During this period, he also had occasional songs in numerous other projects, and among his appealing numbers were ‘In A Cozy Corner’ (popularized under the title of ‘My Cosey Corner Girl’ by Henry Burr, and as ‘My Cozy Corner Girl’ by Harry Macdonough), ‘I’m On The Water Wagon Now’, ‘The Sunshine Of Paradise Alley’, ‘A Picture No Artist Can Paint’, ‘I Love You In The Same Old Way’, ‘Henrietta, Have You Met Her?’, ‘He Was A Sailor’, ‘In A Garden Of Faded Flowers’, ‘You’ll Always Be Sweet Sixteen To Me’, ‘Sweetheart, Let’s Grow Old Together’, ‘My Sunbeam From The South’, ‘I’ll Be Your Honey’, ‘Mender Of Broken Dreams’ and ‘Loving Time’. His collaborators included Paul West, Chas Noel Douglas, Nat D. Ayer, Walter Ford, and Leo Edwardes. Perhaps his most enduring tune - especially for several generations of children - is ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’. It was written around 1907, and British songwriter Jimmy Kennedy added the well-known lyric in 1932. The most popular recording of the song in Britain was made by the BBC Dance Orchestra directed by Henry Hall, with a vocal by Val Rosing.