Harris, Charles K(assel)
- Joan Morris
(b Poughkeepsie, NY, May 1, 1865/7; d New York, Dec 22, 1930). American songwriter and music publisher. Although he never learned to read or write music, he taught himself to play the banjo as a child, and at the age of 18 he became a banjo teacher and songwriter in Milwaukee. He performed his songs at amateur entertainments and attended performances of professional companies appearing in Milwaukee; he also became local correspondent for the New York Dramatic News.
After he had received royalties of only 85 cents for one of his songs, Harris established his own publishing company and almost immediately brought out his most successful work, After the Ball (1892), which was first interpolated by James Aldrich Libbey in a Milwaukee production of Hoyt’s musical A Trip to Chinatown. After advance orders for 75,000 copies of the song, sales eventually reached some five million, and the royalties enabled him to open offices in New York and Chicago. He published his own songs and the works of other writers, including several shows produced by Weber and Fields, such as Herbert’s ...