James F. Hanley

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James Frederick "Jimmy" Hanley (Rensselaer, Indiana February 17, 1892 – February 8, 1942) was an American songwriter and author.


Hanley was born in Rensselaer, Indiana on February 17, 1892. He attended Champion College and the Chicago Musical College.[1]

He served with the United States Army 82nd Division in World War I and during his military service he wrote an army musical show called Toot Sweet.

On his discharge Hanley became a vaudeville accompanist. He went on to write songs for film and theater including many Broadway productions. He worked with numerous artists, most notably B.G. DeSylva, Edward Madden, Eddie Dowling, Percy Wenrich, Theodore Morse and Ballard MacDonald.

Hanley is best remembered for the hit songs "(Back Home Again in) Indiana" (1917), "Second Hand Rose" (1921) and "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" (1934). For the latter song, Hanley contributed both music and lyrics but for most of his songs he wrote the music alone.

He died of a heart attack at his home in Douglaston, Queens, on February 8, 1942, leaving a widow and five children.[1] Hanley was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

Musical theatre credits[edit]

  • Toot Sweet


Also contributed songs to:

  • Ziegfeld Follies of 1922 (1922)
  • George White's Scandals of 1923 (1923)
  • Innocent Eyes (1924)
  • Gay Paree of 1925 (1925)
  • High Queen (1926)
  • Take the Air (1927)

Selected songs[edit]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b James Hanley, 49; Wrote Songs Hits, The New York Times
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Parker, Bernard S. (2007). World War I Sheet Music (Volume 1). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 115, 201, 261, 321, 351, 378, 451. ISBN 0-7864-2798-1.
  3. ^ a b c d Parker, Bernard S. (2007). World War I Sheet Music (Volume 2). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. pp. 549, 698, 747, 760. ISBN 0-7864-2799-X.

External links[edit]