Harry Ruby

Harry Rubenstein, known professionally as Harry Ruby (January 27, 1895 February 23, 1974) was an American composer and screenwriter,[1] who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.[2] He was married to silent film actress Eileen Percy.

Harry Ruby
Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar
Harry Rubinstein

(1895-01-27)January 27, 1895
DiedFebruary 23, 1974(1974-02-23) (aged 79)
Occupationcomposer, screenwriter


Ruby was born in New York City, United States.[1] After failing at his early ambition to become a professional baseball player, he toured the vaudeville circuit as a pianist with the Bootblack Trio and the Messenger Boys Trio, until meeting the man who would become his longtime partner, lyricist Bert Kalmar.[1] Kalmar and Ruby were a successful songwriting team for nearly three decades until Kalmar's death in 1947, a partnership portrayed in the 1950 MGM musical Three Little Words, starring Fred Astaire as Kalmar and Red Skelton as Ruby.[3]

A good friend of Groucho Marx, Ruby appeared several times on his television program, You Bet Your Life. In his 1972 concert at Carnegie Hall, Marx gave the following introduction before performing a song of Ruby's: "I have a friend in Hollywood ... I think I do, I'm not so sure. [laughter] His name is Harry Ruby [applause] and he wrote a lot of songs that I've sung over the years ..."[4]

Today, Father, is Father's Day
And we're giving you a tie
It's not much we know
It is just our way of showing you
We think you're a regular guy
You say that it was nice of us to bother
But it really was a pleasure to fuss
For according to our mother
You're our father
And that's good enough for us
Yes, that's good enough for us

In The Dick Cavett Show, recorded June 13, 1969, Marx also sang a second stanza, and introduced it with, "Isn't that a beautiful melody? And a beautiful sentiment: ... Today, father, is father's day. ... 16 men in that orchestra: nine of them are illegitimate children [laughter]. Nine and a half including the director."

The tie that you got
Didn't cost such a lot
And we'll give you the same tie next year.
You tell us it was nice of us to bother
But it really was a pleasure to fuss
For they say, a child can only have one father
And you are the one for us.
And you are the one for us.

Selected film scores [5]

Selected screenplays [5]

Selected Broadway scores [6]

  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1918 (1918) - revue - featured songwriter
  • Helen of Troy, New York (1923) - musical - co-composer and co-lyricist
  • No Other Girl (1924) - musical - co-composer and co-lyricist
  • Holka Polka (1925) - musical - co-book-editor
  • The Ramblers (1926) - musical - co-composer, co-lyricist and co-bookwriter
  • Lucky (1927) - musical - co-bookwriter
  • The Five O'Clock Girl (1927) - musical - composer
  • She's My Baby (1928) - musical - co-bookwriter
  • Good Boy (1928) - musical - co-composer and co-lyricist
  • Animal Crackers (1928) - musical - co-composer and co-lyricist
  • Top Speed (1929) - musical - co-producer and co-bookwriter
  • High Kickers (1941) - musical - co-composer, co-lyricist and co-bookwriter
  • Fosse (1998) - revue - featured songwriter for "Who's Sorry Now?" from All That Jazz 1979

Notable songs[1]

Selected bibliography


Ruby died on February 23, 1974 in Woodland Hills, California,[1] and was interred at the Chapel of the Pines in Los Angeles.[7]

See also

  • Category:Songs with music by Harry Ruby


  1. Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1043. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. Harry Ruby biography, Songwritershalloffame.org. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  3. Harry Ruby song catalog, Songwritershalloffame.org. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  4. An Evening With Groucho (Beverly Hills: A & M Records, 1972), Archive.org. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
  5. Harry Ruby filmography IMDb.com. Retrieved: April 29, 2013.
  6. Harry Ruby stage scores IBDb.com. Retrieved: April 29, 2013.
  7. Harry Ruby profile, Findagrave.com; retrieved April 29, 2013.

Streaming audio

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