Big Bands Database Homepage "M" ENTRIES

Theodore Metz
b. March 14, 1848
As a child, Metz studied the violin at the Hanover Conservatory with Joseph Joachim. He emigrated to the U.S. working first as a druggist's assistant in a Brooklyn pharmacy, and moving on to Indianapolis, IN, where he found work as a gymnastics and swimming instructor. He also found time to take orchestration lessons from a local orchestra leader, while working in the band.

In 1886, Metz took up residence in Chicago, working as a builder's helper in the daytime, and as a musician at night. He was conducting local bands, where he would offer ragtime versions of the classics that he knew so well. He became the conductor for the McIntyre and Heath Minstrels company, and wrote his most famous composition for them, "There'll Be A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight", with lyric by Joe Hayden. See Note below.

Over his career, Metz wrote many more songs, among which can be found:
        "When the Roses Are in Bloom,"
        "Another Baby"
        "Never Do Nothin' for Nobodyh"
        "A Warm Baby"
        "Mother's Dear Old Face"
        "One Sweet Smile"
        "Diana Waltz"
        "Merry Minstrels"
        "Once Again"
        "One Sweet Smile"
        "Olympic March"
        "Poketa", an operetta, with libretto by Monroe H. Rosenfeld.

The 1890's found Metz residing in Stamford, Connecticut, where he had his own music publishing company. He later re-located the firm and himself to New York City. He gave up the business after WW1, and retired in New York City.

In 1935, at age 87, he received a standing ovation at New York's Madison Square Garden, with the orchestra playing his big hit, "There'll Be A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight". Metz died in 1936, age 88.

Metz has provided the following information, abridged here, regarding the song "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight".
While on tour with the McIntyre and Heath Minstrels, their train arrived at a place called 'Old Town'. From their train window, he could see a group of children starting a fire, near the tracks. One of the other minstrels remarked that 'there'll be a hot time in the old town tonight'. Metz noted the remark on a scrap of paper, intending to write a march with that motif. He did indeed write the march the very next day. It was then used by the McIntyre and Heath Minstrels in their Street parades. The song was very popular, even before Joe Hayden, a singer in the minstrel company, added the lyric. With the lyric, the song became popular with minstrel shows everywhere. Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders used the song during the Spanish-American War. (Note: Musicologists currently believe that, in reality, Metz may have first heard the tune played in Babe Connor's St. Louis, MO, brothel. The song "Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay", was still another great American song first heard in Babe Connors' "house". --mlp)

George W. Meyer
b. Jan. 1, 1894, Boston, MA., d. Aug. 28, 1959, New York, N. Y.
While George Meyer composed a great many popular songs from 1909 through the 1940s, only a few became national famous. Probably his best remembered hits include 1917's "For Me and My Gal" (which was revived in 1942), 1924's "Mandy," and 1942's "There Are Such Things."

George was self-taught on the piano. He complete Roxbury High School, and then found work first as an electrician and then in the accounting department of a retail Boston store. When he moved to New York, he worked in several stores before becoming a song plugger for Tin Pan Alley.

With Kerry Mills, wrote "Lonesome", with lyric by Edgar Leslie. A hit. The song was a sheet music million-seller. He gave up song plugging and became a full time song writer.

He wrote the following tin pan alley songs.
        "You Taught Me How To Love You, Now Teach Me How To Forget", lyric: Jack
            Drislane and Al Bryan
        "I'm Awfully Glad I Met You", lyric by Drislane
        "Somebody Else, It's Always Somebody Else", lyric by Drislane
        "There's a Dixie Girl Who's Longing for a Yankee Doodle Boy", Lyric: Robert
            F. Roden.
        "That Was Before I Met You", lyric by Al Bryan
        "A Ring on the Finger is Worth Two on the Phone", lyric by Jack Mahoney
        "Honey-Love", lyric by Drislane
        "A Girlie Was Made to Love", lyric by Joe Goodwin
        "Bring Back My Golden Dreams", lyric by Al Bryan
        "That Mellow Melody", lyric by Sam M. Lewis
        "Dear Old Rose", lyric by Drislane.

But starting in 1914, he again met with some major successes with songs like:
       "When You're A Long, Long Way from Home", lyric by Sam M. Lewis

        "There's a Little Lane Without a Turning", lyric Sam Lewis
        "My Mother's Rosary", lyric Sam Lewis

       "Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go with Friday on Saturday Night?", lyric Sam
            M. Lewis and Joe Young. A huge success for Al
            Jolson in his Winter Garden show 'Robinson Crusoe, Jr.'

George had his greatest hit song published in 1917.
       "For Me and My Gal", lyric by Edgar Leslie and E. Ray Goetz. This song was
            sung by just about every entertainer of the day, including: Al Jolson;
            George Jessel; Sophie Tucker; Belle Baker, and Eddie Cantor. In 1942,
            Judy Garland sang it in her film of the same name.

After1917, George Meyer wrote:
        "Bring Back My Daddy to Me", lyric William Tracey and Howard Johnson.
        "If He Can Fight Like He Can Love", lyric by Clarke and Howard E. Rogers.
        "Everything Is Peaches Down in Georgia", to Grant Glarke lyric and Milton Ager assisted on the music.
        "In the Land of Beginning Again",. lyric by Clarke. (In 1946, this song was revived in the Bing Crosby film, 'The Bells of St. Mary's'.
        "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep:, lyric by Sidney Mitchell. (Used by Bert and Betty Wheeler in their vaudeville acts.
        "Sittin; in a Corner", lyric Gus Kahn
        "Tuck Me To Sleep in my Old 'Tucky Home', lyric by Lewis and Young. (Don't laugh. This song was a million selling record and a two million seller of sheet music.
        "Happy Go Lucky Lane", lyric by Lewis and Young
        "Brown Eyes, Why Are You Blue?", lyric Al Bryan
        "If I Only Had A Match", lyric by Arthur Johnston and Lee Morris
        "The Story of Annie Laurie", lyric by Young and Peter Wendling.

        "Mandy", Al Jolson sang it.

George Meyer scored several unsuccessful Broadway shows. He did write some songs for the 'talkies' when sound came to Hollywood.
For the film, 'Footlights and Fools', he wrote
        "If I Can't Have You", lyric by Al Bryan
For the film, 'Drag', he wrote
        "My Song of the Nile", lyric by Al Bryan
For the film, 'The Girl From Woolworth's', he wrote
        "Maybe It's Love", lyric Mitchell.

       "There Are Such Things" was a big hit for him.

George was a Director and a Secretary for ASCAP, from 1939 through 1951. He died in his hotel room, in New York City, from fire. He may have fallen asleep while smoking a cigarette.

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