Top Vaudeville, film and theater composer of 1920s and 30s
Wrote "Back Home Again in Indiana"
James Frederick Hanley was born in Rensselaer, Indiana on February 17, 1892.
He attended Champion College and the Chicago Musical College. In 1914, Hanley joined the army and served during World War I in the 82nd division. While overseas, he wrote and produced an army show, Toot Sweet.
Returning to the States, Hanley found work as an accompanist for vaudeville shows. Soon thereafter, Hanley began work on a succession of Broadway stage scores, including Jim Jam Jems, Spice of 1922, Big Boy, Honeymoon Lane and Sidewalks of New York.
Working with collaborators such as B.G. De Sylva, Edward Madden, Eddie Dowling, Percy Wenrich, Theodore Morse and Ballard MacDonald, Hanley produced such hit songs as “Back Home in Indiana”, “The Little White House (At the End of Honeymoon Lane)”, “Gee, But I Hate to Go Home Alone”, “Rose of Washington Square”, “Second Hand Rose”, “No Foolin’”, Little Log Cabin of Dreams”, “Just a Cottage Small by a Waterfall”, “Sleepy Valley”, “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart”, “Breeze (Blow My Baby Back to Me)”, “Dig a Little Deeper”, “I’m a Lonesome Little Raindrop”, “Half a Moon”, “Jersey Walk”, “Mary Dear”, “Wherever You Are” and “Dreams for Sale”.
James Hanley died in Douglaston, New York on February 8, 1942