PAUL DRESSER Biography - Musicians


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Name: Paul Dresser                                                                   
Born: 22 April 1857                                                                   
Died: 31 January 1906                                                                 
Paul Dresser (b. April 22, 1857, Terre Haute, Indiana - d. January 31, 1906) was     
an important American songwriter in the late 19th century and early 20th century.     
Born as Johann Paul Dreiser Jr. and baptized on May 24, 1857 at St. Joseph's         
Catholic Church in Terre Haute, Indiana, Paul Dresser is best-known for               
composing what would become the state song of Indiana, "On the Banks of the           
Wabash, Far Away". His younger brother was novelist Theodore Dreiser.                 
Dresser worked as an actor, playwright, songwriter, producer, and music               
publisher. He composed more than 100 songs on Tin Pan Alley, in New York City.       
At the peak of his fame, in the 1890s, he was the most popular songwriter in         
America. He created his own publishing house in 1901 to produce his works.           
Despite his fame, he was financially unwise. He gave much of his money away to       
friends and family, and when his publishing house failed, he was left destitute.     
He died, aged 49, in New York City.                                                   
Paul Dresser was portrayed in the biopic My Gal Sal (1942) by actor Victor           
Mature. Dresser was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.