Top Braodway composer of 1920s
Wrote hit "Alice Blue Gown" longest running show of the era
Composer Harry Austin Tierney was born in Perth Amboy, New Jersey on May 21, 1890. He was educated at the Virgil Conservatory in New York and studied music with his mother as well as Nicholas Morrissey.
In his early career, Tierney toured throughout the US as a concert pianist. In 1915 he worked for a music publisher in London and then in 1918 became the staff composer at Remick music publishers on Tin Pan Alley.
Tierney wrote scores for several Broadway productions including Irene, The Broadway Whirl, Up She Goes, Kid bots, Ziegfeld Follies (1924), Rio Rita and Cross Your Heart. He also contributed songs to the music revues Afgar, Ziegfeld Follies of 1919, 1920, Follow Me, Everything and A Royal Vagabond.
Under contract to RKO studios, Tierney moved to Hollywood in 1931, contributing songs to films such as Dixiana and Half Shot at Sunrise.
While his chief collaborator was Joe McCarthy, Tierney also worked with lyricists Bert Hanlon, Benny Ryan, Al Bryan, Ray Egan and Anne Caldwell. Highlights from the Tierney catalog include “Just For Tonight”, “If You Can’t Get a Girl in Summertime”, “M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I”, “My Own”, “Cleopatra”, “I Found the End of the Rainbow”, “My Baby’s Arms”, “Alice Blue Gown”, “Irene”, “Castle of Dreams”, “Journey’s End”, “If Your Heart’s in the Game”, “Someone Loves You After All”, “Rio Rita”, “the Kinkajou”, “The Rangers Song”, “If You’re in Love You’ll Waltz” and “You’re Always in My Arms”.
Harry Tierney died in New York City on March 22, 1965.