Composer Joseph Meyer was born in Modesto, California on March 12, 1894. at the age of 13, Meyer was sent to Paris, France to study violin for a year and returned to the Untied States in 1908. After graduating from Lowell High School in San Francisco, Meyer worked in a San Francisco café entertaining patrons with his violin.
Meyer served in the army during World War I and after discharge, returned to the US where he worked in a mercantile business. His songwriting career started in 1921, when he abandoned the retail trade and moved to New York City and Tin Pan Alley.
Meyer’s first success came in 1922. In collaboration with lyricist Harry Ruby, the pair wrote “My Honey’s Lovin’ Arms”. The song was recorded by the California Ramblers and Benny Goodman, but reached its highest Billboard peak with a recording by Isham Jones in 1922. That same year, Meyer worked with lyricist Buddy De Sylva and the pair produced the Al Jolson #1 recording “California, Here I Come.”
Meyer contributed songs to several Broadway scores, including Big Boy, Just Fancy, Here’s Howe, Lady Fingers, Charlot’s Revue (1925), Yes, Yes, Yvette, Ziegfeld Follies (1934) and New Faces (1936),. He also contributed to the film scores of George White’s Scandals of 1935, Remote Control and Possessed.
Working with such renowned lyricists as Buddy DeSylva, Billy Rose, Ira Gershwin, Irving Caesar, Jack Yellen, Harry Ruby, Yip Harburg, Frank Loesser, Eddie De Lange, Al Dubin, Al Jacobs, Carl Sigman and Bob Russell, the Joseph Meyer catalog includes “Clap Your Hands, Here Comes Charley”, “If You Knew Susie”, “A Cup of Coffee, A Sandwich and You”, “Isn’t It Heavenly”, “Falling In Love With You”, “I Wish I Were Twins”, “Meadows of Heaven”, “Crazy Rhythm”, “Oh, I Didn’t Know”, “It’s an Old Southern Custom”, “It’s Time to Say Goodnight” and “According to the Moonlight.”
Joseph Meyer died in New York City on June 22, 1987 at the age of 93.