Songwriter and popular ragtime pianist at turn of 20th century

Browse Song Catalog: ASCAP

Egbert Van Alstyne


More than 60 hits including "Drifting and Dreaming"

Composer Egbert Anson Van Alstyne was born in Chicago, Illinois on March 4, 1878.

After attending the Chicago Musical College and Cornell College, Van Alstyne joined the circus with Harry Williams and then toured throughout the US in vaudeville acts. He moved to New York in 1900 and worked as a staff pianist for music publishers on Tin Pan Alley.

With his chief collaborators, Williams and Gus Kahn, Van Alstyne wrote “Navajo”, “Back Back Back to Baltimore”, “In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree”, “Won’t You Come Over to My House?”, “I’m Afraid to Come Home in the Dark”, “It Looks to Me Like a Big Night Tonight”, “What’s the Matter With Father?”, “That Old Girl of Mine”, “San Antonio”, “Why Don’t You Try?”, “When I Was a Dreamer”, “Memories”, “ “Pretty Baby”, “Sailin’ Away on the Henry Clay”, “Your Eyes Have Told Me So”, “Drifting and Dreaming” and “Beautiful Love.”

Van Alstyne also wrote Broadway scores for A Broken Doll and Girlies.

Egbert Van Alstyne died in Chicago on July 9, 1951.

Wrote several Broadway scores