Monday, August 1, 2016

Harry Israel

Harry Israel

Born:         22 September 1883,  New York City, NY
Died:         16 September 1963, Los Angeles, CA
Artist For:  Aeolian, Rythmodik

Harry Israel recorded at least one roll for Rythmodik, and is most probably also the 'Israel' credited as an artist on some mid-1910s Aeolian Unversal rolls, usually in four hand performances with other artists.

His father William was an English immigrant who died when Harry was just 12. His earliest professional mention is in the Music Trade Review of 18 February 1905, reporting on a vaudeville act by The Gillette Sisters:
  "A unique feature of the act was Harry Israel's accompaniment in 'ragged rag-time' on a piano"

By 1910 he was managing a music publishing house, the Joe Morris Music Co., and his brother Joseph also worked as a pianist for a music house. In 1912 he composed 'That Aeroplane Glide', which attained some popularity, and which he recorded for Rythmodik on roll #A1752, released in July that year.

He served with the American Expeditionary Force in the America's Over There theatre, entertaining the troops in England. The 1920s saw him occasionally appear on radio, performing the latest numbers from the Snyder publishing house.

Married to Antoinette in 1926, he was the proprietor of a musical instrument store by 1930. He spent some time in Florida later that decade, relocating to Los Angeles by 1940 where he was still working as a musician, now for the motion picture industry.

His WW2 draft lists him as self-employed, resident in North Hollywood. He died in Los Angeles a few days before his 80th birthday, and is buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills next to his wife, who died in 1983.

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