Lyricist Grant Clarke was born in Akron, Ohio on May 14, 1891. After leaving Ohio he moved to New York City and began his career as an actor in stock productions and concurrently as a staff writer for various New York publishing firms writing special material for Bert Williams, Fanny Brice, Eva Tanguay, Nora Bayes and Al Jolson.
Collaborating with composers on Tin Pan Alley, Clarke also contributed songs to several early film musicals including The Jazz Singer, Weary River, On With the Show and Is Everybody Happy?. He also wrote the lyrics to the Broadway stage score Dixie to Broadway and had featured songs in Ziegfeld Follies of 1921 and Bombo.
Clarke was a renowned lyricist and partnering with composers like George W. Meyer, Harry Akst, James Monaco, Al Piantodosi, Fre Fisher, Harry Warren, Arthur Johnson, James Hanley, Lewis Muir and Milton Ager produced such enduring standards as “Dat’s Harmony”, “Ragtime Cowboy Joe”, “He’d Have to Get Under”, “When You’re in Love With Someone”, “In the Land of Beginning Again”, “Everything is Peaches Down in Georgia”, “Second Hand Rose”, “Oogie Oogie Wa Wa”, “Dirty Hands, Dirty Face” and “I’m a Little Blackbird Looking for a Bluebird.” Clarke was also a charter member of the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and a successful music publisher.
Grant Clarke died in California on May 16, 1931.