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Harry Barris


Born: November 24, 1905; NY   Died: December 13, 1962; Burbank, CA  
From the mid-'20s through the '40s, composer, vocalist, and pianist Harry Barris recorded with Paul Whiteman, Bix Beiderbecke, Bing Crosby, and Duke Ellington and wrote pop standards such as "I Surrender Dear." Born in N.Y.C., in 1905, Barris was raised in Denver, CO, where he became a professional pianist by the age of 14. He was leading a touring group by the age of 17, and in the mid-'20s, began singing with Al Rinker and Bing Crosby, forming Read more the Rhythm Boys vocal trio. Barris wrote a lot of material for the group and they recorded with 1920s cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, then became the featured vocalists of Paul Whiteman's band. The Rhythm Boys left Whiteman's band after the whole ensemble appeared in the 1930 film King of Jazz. They performed in L.A. until Bing Crosby quit to pursue a solo career. Barris led some bands of his own over the next couple decades, including one that featured his wife Loyce Whiteman as vocalist. Barris also fronted others' bands, such as Bob Kinney's from 1936-1937, in addition to performing on the radio. He also had occasional small roles in films, including several of Bing Crosby's like Double or Nothing (1937), as well as the movies Hollywood Party (1934) and Some Like It Hot (1939). Barris wrote several songs that became standards in pop music, including "Mississippi Mud" (1924), "It Must Be True" (1930), "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "I Surrender Dear" (1931), and "Naturally" (1938). For a year during WWII, Harry Barris went overseas and entertained the troops along with comedian Joe E. Brown. Read less

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