Harry Richman was a man of many talents, who began his career touring in a minstrel act. He later accompanied Mae West and the Dolly Sisters as pianist. He starred in George White’s Scandals of 1926 where he sang “Birth of the Blues,” and he introduced “Exactly Like You” and “On the Sunny Side of the Street” in Lew Leslie’s International Revue of 1930. He also had a successful stage act as a “Dapper Dan” whose theme song was Irving Berlin’s “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.
As a songwriter he wrote “Muddy Water” with Peter De Rose and Jo Trent (1926), “Miss Annabelle Lee” with Lew Pollack and Sidney Clare (1927), and “Help Yourself to Happiness” with Mack Gordon and Harry Revel for the Zeigfeld Follies of 1931.
He also made headlines as an aviator, holding the altitude record for a single engine plane and making the first nonstop round-trip flight across the Atlantic.
-- Sandra Burlingame
Courtesy of JazzStandards.com