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Sat, 06.21.1879

Lyricist, Henry Creamer born

Henry Creamer

*Henry Creamer was born on this date in 1879. He was a Black songwriter and entertainer from Richmond, Virginia.

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.  As a lyricist, Creamer wrote several major traditional early twentieth-century pop songs including After You've Gone (1918) and Way Down Yonder In New Orleans (1922).  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 during his career including J.C. Johnson, Jimmy Johnson, and vaudevillian Bert Williams.

With James R. Europe, Creamer co-founded Clef Club, a Black entertainers group.  He died on Oct 14, 1930, in New York City.

ACSAP Biographical Dictionary
R. R. Bowker Co., Copyright 1980
ISBN 0-8351-1283-1

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