Rossiter, Will [Williams, W.R. ]
- Jean Geil
[Williams, W.R. ]
(b Wells, March 15, 1867; d Oak Park, IL, June 10, 1954). American publisher and composer of English birth . After moving to the USA in 1881, he settled in Chicago. His musical career started in 1891 when, under the pseudonym W.R. Williams, he published his first song, Sweet Nellie Bawn, followed by further popular titles during the 1890s. In 1898 he performed his songs at Tony Pastor’s Music Hall in New York. By 1900 he had become the most successful popular music publisher in Chicago. In 1910 he purchased the rights to Meet me tonight in dreamland by Leo Friedman and Beth Slater Whitson, issued Shelton Brooks’s Some of these days, which became Sophie Tucker’s theme song, and published his own I’d love to live in loveland with a girl like you, which eventually sold over two million copies. Brooks’s The Darktown Strutters’ Ball (1917) also achieved lasting popularity. Other songwriters, lyricists and performers whose careers were furthered by their association with Rossiter include Charles K. Harris, Percy Wenrich, J. Will Callahan, Fred Fisher and Egbert Van Alstyne. An aggressive promoter of his publications, Rossiter initiated innovatory techniques in marketing and made use of radio broadcasting for promotional purposes....