|First posted 4/6/2012; updated 1/11/2020.|
Traditional pop tenor singer born Harry H. McClaskey on 1/15/1882 in St. Stephen, Brunswick, Canada. Died 4/6/1941. The #1 ballad singer of recorded music’s 1890-1930 pioneer era. He was performing publicly by the age of 5. He was discovered in 1901 by the Metropolitan Opera baritone Giuseppe Campanari and moved to New York in 1902.
The tenor singer used multiple pseudonyms, including Henry Burr and Irving Gillette, to record for various labels. In addition to his work as a soloist (1903-28), he recorded with the Columbia Male Quartet (1904-07), Peerless Quartet (07-28), Columbia Stellar Quartet (15-?), and the Sterling Trio (16-22). He also recorded duets with Albert Campbell. He sang on an estimated 12,000 recordings, far more than any other vocalist in history.
“Till We Meet Again” and “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now” are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Pre-Rock Era, 1890-1953.
Top 100 Songs
Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists as well as chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Songs with the following artists are noted: AC = Albert Campbell, FS = Frank Stanley. According to Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954, Henry Burr hit the top of the U.S. pop charts 24 times (#1 songs noted in list).
DMDB Top 1%:
1. Till We Meet Again (w/ AC, 1919) #1
11. Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland (1910) #1
DMDB Top 5%:
13. The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (w/ AC, 1913) #1
21. There’s a Quaker Down in Quaker Town (w/ AC, 1916) #1
31. Sailing Down the Chesapeake Bay (w/ AC, 1913)
41. For Me and My Gal (w/ AC, 1917)
51. In the Valley of the Moon (w/ Helen Clark, 1914)
DMDB Top 10%:
57. Baby’s Prayer Will Soon Be Answered (1919)
61. You Were Just Made to Order Me (w/ AC, 1916)
71. Flow Gently, Sweet Afton (1913)
81. Belgian Rose (w/ AC, 1918)
DMDB Top 20%:
86. Sleepy Time Gal (w/ Art Landry, 1926)
91. As Long As the World Rolls On (1908)
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