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Harry Bache Smith

born on 28/12/1860 in Buffalo, NY, United States

died on 2/1/1936 in Atlantic City, NJ, United States

Harry B. Smith

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Harry Bache Smith

Born December 28 1860
Buffalo, New York
Died January 01 1936 (aged 75)
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Occupation Writer, lyricist, composer
Nationality American
Genres Musical theatre

Harry Bache Smith (December 28, 1860 – January 1, 1936)[1] was a writer, lyricist and composer. The most prolific of all American stage writers, he is said to have written over 300 librettos and more than 6000 lyrics. Some of his best-known works were librettos for the composers Victor Herbert and Reginald De Koven. He also wrote the book or lyrics for several versions of the Ziegfeld Follies.

Smith was born in Buffalo, New York to Josiah Bailey Smith (born 1837) and Elizabeth Bach (born 1838). According to his autobiography First Nights and First Editions (Boston: Little, Brown, 1931), Smith's actual name at birth was Henry Bach Smith. He married twice. His first wife was Lena Reed (born August 21, 1868), whom he married on October 12, 1887 in Chicago, Illinois. They had a son named Sydney Reed Smith (born July 15, 1892). Smith's second wife was the actress Irene Bentley (1870 June 3, 1940). They married on November 23, 1906 in Boston, Massachusetts, after she had been divorced on June 12, 1906 by her first husband James Thomas Sothoron, Jr. (1867-1913). Bentley retired from the stage in 1910 and died at Allenhurst, New Jersey. She is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Bronx, NY. While on a brief holiday in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on New Year's Day in 1936, Smith died of a heart attack in his room at the Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel.

Smith worked on many of the famous musical theatre productions of his time. His younger brother Robert Bache Smith (June 4, 1875 Nov. 6, 1951) was also a successful lyricist.

Selected productions by Harry B. Smith

Unless otherwise specified below, Smith wrote the libretto (book and lyrics) for the work,(disputed) and the date given is the date of the original production. In addition to the below, in 1980, some of Smith's songs were featured in the Broadway revue Tintypes.

  • Fatinitza operetta 1879
  • The Begum operetta 1887
  • Robin Hood operetta 1890
  • The Fencing Master operetta 1892
  • Rob Roy opera 1894[2]
  • The Wizard of the Nile operetta 1895
  • The Highwayman operetta 1897
  • The Serenade operetta, book 1897
  • The Fortune Teller operetta 1898
  • Whirl-i-gig musical, lyrics 1899
  • The Casino Girl musical, book 1900
  • The Belle of Bohemia operetta 1900
  • The Little Duchess operetta 1901
  • The Liberty Belles musical 1901
  • The Wild Rose operetta 1902
  • Miss Dolly Dollars musical 1905
  • Ziegfeld Follies revues: 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910
  • The Girl in the Train musical, English libretto 1910
  • The Spring Maid musical 1910
  • Ziegfeld Follies revue, lyrics 1912
  • The Girl from Montmartre musical, 1913
  • Sweethearts operetta, book 1913
  • The Lilac Domino operetta, English adaptation 1914
  • Watch Your Step (musical) musical, 1914 (Irving Berlin's first musical)
  • The Girl from Utah musical, additional lyrics 1915
  • Very Good Eddie musical, additional lyrics 1915
  • The Century Girl musical, additional lyrics 1916
  • Love o' Mike musical, lyrics 1917
  • Miss 1917 revue, additional lyrics1912
  • Ladies First musical 1918
  • The Canary musical, book 1918
  • Florodora 1920 revival (revised book)
  • Caroline operetta, lyrics 1923
  • The Love Song operetta, English lyrics 1925
  • Princess Flavia operetta, English adaptation 1925
  • Countess Maritza operetta, English lyrics 1926
  • The Circus Princess musical, lyrics1927
  • Three Little Girls musical, lyrics 1930


  1. Harry B. Smith librettist, dies; ex-Chicagoan, Chicago Daily Tribune, 2 Jan 1936, p. 12.
  2. Rob Roy a Good Operetta, October 30, 1894. URL accessed on June 2, 2013.

External links

This page was last modified 21.01.2014 17:37:10

This article uses material from the article Harry B. Smith from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.