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Harold Fraser-Simson

(1872—1944) composer


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Harry Graham (1874—1936) author

José Collins (1887—1958) actress and singer

Ivor Novello (1893—1951) composer, actor, and playwright

James W. Tate (1875—1922) composer and songwriter

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b. 15 August 1872, London, England, d. 19 January 1944, Dalcross Castle, Inverness, Scotland. Educated at Charterhouse and Cambridge, Fraser-Simson worked in commerce while attempting to launch a songwriting career. Among early songs that met with moderate success are ‘I Sent My Love Two Roses’, ‘The Raindrop And The Rose’, ‘Falmouth Town’ and ‘The Old Land’. His first London musical, Bonita (1911), ran for 46 performances. With The Maid Of The Mountains, on which he collaborated with lyricist Harry Graham, Fraser-Simson’s career blossomed. Starring José Collins, the show tried out in Manchester before opening in the West End in February 1917 for a run of 1, 352 performances. Later came revivals, a film version in 1932, and a staging on Broadway. Ironically, three of the four best-loved songs from this show are not Fraser-Simson’s work but additional songs written by James W. Tate, Clifford Harris and Arthur Valentine: ‘My Life Is Love’, ‘A Paradise For Two’ and ‘A Bachelor Gay Am I’. Of the popular four, only ‘Love Will Find A Way’ is by Graham and Fraser-Simson. His next show, A Southern Maid, opened in Manchester in 1917 but then toured the provinces until The Maid Of The Mountains closed in 1920 and Collins was free to star in London. Fraser-Simson’s other shows included Our Peg (1919, with Graham and Collins), Missy Jo (1921, Graham), Head Over Heels (1923, Graham and Adrian Ross), Our Nell (1924, with Ivor Novello), The Street Singer (1924, with Percy Greenbank), and Betty In Mayfair (1925, with Graham).

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From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.


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