WOODY HARRIS

Born 1 November 1911, New York City, New York
Died 19 February 1985, Hallandale, Broward County, Florida

Woody Harris was a songwriter, best known for the songs he wrote with and for Bobby Darin. I couldn't find anything about his personal life, so this short bio will concentrate on his songwriting achievements. Harris was not a prolific writer. The ASCAP database lists 32 compositions by him and the BMI files 13 titles, with a partial overlap. He had several co-writers : apart from Darin he worked occasionally with Eddie Deane and Jack Reardon. With Deane he co-wrote "Rock-A-Billy" for Guy Mitchell, a # 1 hit in the UK in 1957, and "I'm Coming Home Late Tonight" for Jo-Ann Campbell. "Dix-A-Billy", the rocking US flip of LaVern Baker's big hit "I Cried A Tear" (1959), was jointly written by Woody Harris, Paul Evans and Jack Reardon. The Bobby Darin hits "Queen of the Hop", "Early in the Morning" and "Clementine" were Darin/ Harris collaborations, as were "Brandnew House" (from Bobby's first LP, also recorded by Otis Spann) and both sides of "School's Out"/ "Real Love" by the Jaye Sisters (Atlantic 1190). Harris wrote the following songs for Darin all by himself: "Pity Miss Kitty", "I Want You With Me" (also recorded by Elvis Presley in 1961) and "Was There A Call For Me", the B-side of "Mack the Knife", which must have made Harris a rich man, as royalty rates are the same for both sides of a hit. Darin and Harris also set up their own publishing company, Anna Teresa Music.

 
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