Tin Pan Alley songwriter, author and lyricist
Wrote over 159 songs including "We All Scream for Ice Cream"
Lyricist Howard Johnson was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on June 2, 1887. He grew up in grew up in Torrington, CT, and after private music study, Johnson began his career as a pianist in Boston stage and film theatres. In 1918, he joined the United States Navy and served for one year during World War I. While at war he composed the popular soldier song “Where Do We Go From Here, Boys?”, which became an immediate hit with our troops in Europe.
After the war, Johnson moved to New York City where he worked as a staff writer for publishing companies on Tin Pan Alley. He began collaborating with lyricists and composers such as Milton Ager, Walter Donaldson, George Meyer, Joe Meyer, Joe Davis, Percy Wenrich, James Kendis, Harry M. Woods, James Brockman, Archie Gottler and W. Edward Breuder.
One of the most prolific songwriters of popular standards, Johnson produced such hits as “Ireland Must Be Heaven For My Mother Came From There”, “Sweet Lady”, “I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream”, “What Do You Want to Make Those yes at Me For?”, “M-O-T-H-E-R”, “What Do We Do on a Dew Dew Dewy Day”, “When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain”, “Where Do We Go From Here, Boys?”, “Bring Back My Daddy to Me”, “There’s a Broken Heart for Every Light on Broadway”, “I Don’t Want to Get Well”, “Siam”, “Georgia”, “A Word that Means the World to Me”, “Feather Your Next”, “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” and “Am I Wasting My Time on You?”.
Johnson traveled to Hollywood to work in the music department of MGM Studios in 1930, returning to New York City a year later, where he continued to write music up until his death on May 1, 1941. He is buried in Torrington.