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Hal Leonard


Wrote "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes"


Otto Abels Harbach was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 18, 1873. The lyricist of such notable standards as “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”, “No, No, Nanette”, “The Desert Song” and “Indian Love Call”, did not begin writing songs until his mid thirties. After graduating from Knox College in 1895, where he earned his BA, MA and DHL, Harbach embarked on several career ventures. From 1895 through 1901, he served as a Professor of English at Columbia University and Whitman College; 1902 until 1903, he was a New York City newspaper writer; 1903 through 1910, he worked for advertising agencies.

It was while working as a young advertising executive that Harbach met composer Karl Hoschna and the two began collaborating on songs for vaudeville and minstrel acts. The team achieved mild success and Harbach left all other vocations to devote himself to writing for Broadway productions.

Working as lyricist, and often librettist as well, Harbach would collaborate on such productions as Three Twins, Madame Sherry, The Firefly, High Jinks, Katinka, Going Up, Tumble In, The Little Whopper, The Cat and the Fiddle, Roberta, You’re in Love, Tickle Me!, Mary, The O’Brien Girl, The Blue Kitten, Molly Darling, Wildflower, Rose-Marie, No, No, Nanette, Sunny, Song of the Flame, Criss-Cross, The Desert Song, Gold Dawn, The Crinoline Girl, Nina Rosa, Kid Boots, Kitty’s Kisses, Oh, Please!, Good Boy and several others. He also co-authored the play Up in Mabel’s Room.

In 1914, another phase of Harbach’s songwriting career began with the founding of the American Society for Authors, Composers and Publishers (ASCAP). He was a charter…

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Discography Highlights

SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYE Otto A. Harbach, Jerome Kern
Universal Music Publishing Group

NIGHT WAS MADE FOR LOVE, THE Otto A. Harbach, Jerome Kern
Universal Music Publishing Group

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