Benjamin R. Harney  (1871-1938)
Last updated: 01.11.18
Benjamin Robertson Harney was an American vaudeville artist, comedian, singer, pianist and composer of popular music and is generally considered to be an originator of ragtime music from which jazz and modern syncopation was derived.. He was born in Tennessee into a prominent family and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. When working in Middlesboro, Kentucky as a post office employee sometime in 1887 he first heard a mountain fiddler playing a syncopated beat which fascinated to the extent that immediately set out to imitate and master on his piano. Harney moved to New Yorkin 1896 appearing regularly in Tony Pastor's Music Hall. His music was much admired and other composers and songwriters took up his style spreading ragtime across America. He published his influential Ben Harney's Rag Time Instructor the following year and his songs You've Been a Good Old Wagon, But You've Done Broke Down (1896), Mister Johnson, Turn Me Loose (1896) and Cake Walk In The Sky (1899) were all big hits. Harney toured widely in America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the South Pacific billing himself as "The Originator of Ragtime" or "The Father of Ragtime", a claim not accepted by all. He retired after a heart attack in 1928 and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania aged 66.

 
Websites:
url15.gif Benjamin Robertson Harney Biography and list of works by "Perfessor" Bill Edwards  
Benjamin R. Harney  (1871-1938) has at least 1 item(s) at the Amazons which you can order on-line by clicking the item's order icon.

b0000cwzdz_m.jpgI'd Give a Hundred if the Gal Was Mine Song
Words and Music by Benjamin Robertson Harney.
Publisher: E. T. Paull Music Co.
Suppliers: flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15es.gif
Printed: 1901. Sheet Music 5 pages. Limited Availability.
     Performer CD Title Supplier
       
Ragtime Music CDs:
cd15.gif Various Artists From Cake-Walk To Ragtime 1898-1916 CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15it.gif flag15es.gif
cd15.gif Various Artists Stomp and Swerve: American Music Gets Hot CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15it.gif flag15es.gif
cd15.gif Noel Lester Syncopated Sensations flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif
cd15.gif Richard Egan From the Land of Ragtime
cd15.gif Max Morath Jonah Man: A Tribute to Bert Williams CD(s) & MP3 Album(s) flag15us.gif flag15uk.gif flag15de.gif flag15fr.gif flag15ca.gif flag15it.gif flag15es.gif
Item Title Available €     £     $     Other
             
DBE677 The Cakewalk in the Sky (1899) - Ethiopian Two-Step
D+T/A/T/B/GB(B), approx. 3¾ mins.
1-2 days
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DBE678 Mister Johnson, Turn Me Loose (1896) - Song
T/T/B/B/GB(B), approx. 2¾ mins.
1-2 days
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     Title Instruments Remarks
       
sm15.gif The Cakewalk in the Sky (1899) D+T/A/T/B/GB(B) dbe15.gifmp315.gif
sm15.gif Mister Johnson, Turn Me Loose (1896) T/T/B/B/GB(B) dbe15.gifmp315.gif
This list is arranged in chronological order and contains 25 works by Benjamin R. Harney (1871-1938). It does not claim to be complete and represents only the number of items located. Key: Electronic Resource Items
Title Year Co-Author Words By Remarks
         
La Pas Ma La 1895
You've Been a Good Old Wagon But You've Done Broke Down 1895 Biller  wvicon.gif
Mister Johnson, Turn Me Loose (1896) 1896 Words & Music by Harney  wvicon.gif
Ben Harney's Ragtime Instructor 1897  wvicon.gif
I Love My Honey 1897  wvicon.gif
There's a Knocker Layin' Around 1897  wvicon.gif
Draw That Color Line 1898  wvicon.gif
If You Got Any Sense You'll Go 1898  wvicon.gif
You May Go But This Will Bring You Back 1898 Words & Music by Harney  wvicon.gif
Black Man's Kissing Bug 1899 Words & Music by Harney  wvicon.gif
The Cakewalk in the Sky (1899) 1899  wvicon.gif
The Hat He Never Ate 1899 Howard S. Taylor  wvicon.gif
Tell It to Me 1899  wvicon.gif
The Only Way to Keep Her Is in a Cage 1900  wvicon.gif
I'd Give a Hundred if the Gal Was Mine 1901  amazon15.gif wvicon.gif
T.T.T. (Treat, Trade or Travel) 1902  wvicon.gif
Cannon Ball Catcher 1914  wvicon.gif
There's Only One Way to Keep a Gal 1914  wvicon.gif
I Love One Sweet Black Man ?
Li Hung Chang ?
The Sporting Life Is Sure Killing Me ?
That Ever Lovin' Rock Pile ?
Tomahau ?
While in Chicago ?
Wissahickon ?
     Title Dur Composer Performer Score/Song
           
youtube15.jpg Ben Harney's Ragtime Instructor 1:53 B.R. Harney  Ragtime Dorian Henry
youtube15.jpg The Cakewalk in the Sky 2:35 B.R. Harney  Ragtime Dorian Henry The Cakewalk in the Sky (1899)
youtube15.jpg La Pas Ma La 1:50 B.R. Harney  Ragtime Dorian Henry
youtube15.jpg You've Been a Good Old Wagon But You've Done Broke Down 3:46 B.R. Harney  Ragtime Dorian Henry