Songwriters Friends

Born John S. MacDonough in Ontario Canada on March 30, 1871, tenor Harry MacDonough became second only to Henry Burr among the great ballad sings in the pre-1920 era. He was a member of the Edison, Haydn, Lyric and Orpheus Quartets and also a member of the Victor Light Opera Co.

MacDonough began his singing career as a church soloist and his first recordings were made in 1898 for the Michigan Electric Company of Detroit. In 1899, he was invited to sing second tenor for the Haydn Quartet (originally the Edison Male Quartet) with John Bieling (tenor), S.H. Dudley (baritone) and William F. Hooley (bass). By 1920, MacDonough retired from singing and focused on the business side of music, eventually rising to top executive level at Victor Records.

Harry MacDonough died on September 26, 1931.

As a soloist and in duets, MacDonough had nearly 100 top ten recordings including the #1 hits ‘Tell Me Pretty Maiden’ (duet with Grace Spencer, 1901), ‘The Tale of the Bumble Bee’ (1901), ‘Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder’ (1901), ‘The Mansion of Aching Hearts’ (1902), ‘In the Sweet Bye and Bye’ (duet with Bieling, 1903), ‘Hiawatha’ (1903), ‘Because You’re You’ (duet with Elise Stevenson, 1907), ‘My Dear’ (1907), ‘Shine On, Harvest Moon’ (1909), ‘Where the River Shannon Flows’ (1910), ‘Every Little Movement’ (duet with Lucy Isabelle Marsh, 1910), ‘In the Valley of Yesterday’ (1910), ‘Down By the Old Mill Stream’ (1912), ‘They Didn’t Believe Me’ (duet with Alice Green, 1915) and ‘The Girl on the Magazine’ (1916).

Macdonough also collected more the 60 top ten recordings with the Haydn Quartet, including the #1 songs ‘Because’ (1900), ‘In the Good Old Summer Time’ (1903), ‘Bedelia’ (1904), ‘Toyland’ (with Corrine Morgan, 1904), ‘Blue Bell’ (1904), ‘Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart)’ (1904), ‘Dearie’ (with Corrine Morgan, 1905), ‘How’d You Like to Spoon With Me?’ (with Corrine Morgan, 1906), ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’ (with Billy Murray, 1908), ‘Sunbonnet Sue’ (1908), ‘Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet’ (1909) and ‘By the Light of the Silv’ry Moon’ (with Billy Murray, 1910).

Harry MacDonough is listed as the 10th top recording artist from 1890-1954.


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