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Contributed to dozens of Hollywood musicals including "On With The Show," "Broadway Babies," "No, No, Nanette" and "Song of the West."


Harry Akst was born in New York City on August 15, 1894, beginning a career that would prove him one of the most prolific composers of the era and an accomplished pianist and conductor. His early career was as a pianist and accompanist, for 4 years he was beside Nora Bayes. In 1916 he enlisted in the U.S. Army. While at Camp Upton, Akst befriended another young composer, Irving Berlin. Together, the two would create the # 2 recording from 1921, "Home Again Blues". By World War II, he again joined the war effort, this time as an accompanist and bandleader for Al Jolson's overseas tour.

In 1925, Akst, along with lyricists Sam Lewis and Joe Young, wrote one of the most recorded songs from the 1920's: "Dinah". "Dinah" had its first hit recording in 1926, when Ethel Waters' version reached # 2 on the charts. Ted Lewis followed with a top ten hit in 1930 and then in 1932 both Bing Crosby and The Mills Brothers helped "Dinah" reach the # 1 spot on Billboard. Other notable recordings were The Boswell Sisters (# 3 in 1935), Fats Waller (# 7 in 1936) and Sam Donohue (# 9 in 1946).

Other notable collaborations were with Benny Davis ("A Smile Will Go A Long Way", "Baby Face", "There's Nothing Too Good For My Baby"), Jack Yellen ("I Says To Myself Says I Say (There's The One For Me"), Grant Clarke ("Am I Blue", "As Long As I'm With You", "Don't It Mean A Thing", "Birmingham Bertha") and Sidney Clare ("Everybody Swing", "Don't Throw Kisses", "Blue is the…

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Discography Highlights

AM I BLUE Grant Clarke, Harry Akst
Witmark M & Sons

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