Ol­cott in­ducted into Buffalo Mu­sic Hall of Fame

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Paul Post ppost@dig­i­tal­first­media.com @paul­v­post on Twit­ter

"This is a man who many years ago put his mu­sic out just by voice. What’s won­der­ful about it is the songs are go­ing on and on and on. The Ir­ish are still march­ing along" — Chauncey Ol­cott John­stone, grand­son of Chauncey Ol­cott, a Saratoga Springs res­i­dent who wrote “My Wild Ir­ish Rose”

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. » Chauncey Ol­cott, a Saratoga Springs res­i­dent who wrote “My Wild Ir­ish Rose,” was in­ducted re­cently into the Buffalo Mu­sic Hall of Fame.

A Buffalo area na­tive, he was one of Amer­ica’s most pop­u­lar early 20th cen­tury en­ter­tain­ers as a stage ac­tor, singer and song­writer.

Ol­cott (1858-1932) and his wife, Rita, hon­ey­mooned in Saratoga Springs and later owned a home called In­nis­carra on Clin­ton Street where they en­ter­tained celebri­ties such as con­duc­tor/com­poser Fritz Kreisler, Man O’ War race horse owner “Un­cle Sam” Rid­dle, Gov. Al Smith and fu­ture Pres­i­dent Franklin D. Roo­sevelt.

Ol­cott’s ac­com­plish­ments are al­most too nu­mer­ous to list. In 1970, he was part of the in­au­gu­ral class in­ducted to the na­tional Song­writ­ers Hall of Fame.

In 1914, he co-founded the Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Com­posers, Au­thors and Pub­lish­ers (ASCAP). The group in­cluded many of the early 20th cen­tury’s great­est mu­si­cians, such as Irv­ing Berlin, Victor Herbert and John Philip Sousa, and Ol­cott ranked among them.

Ol­cott’s grand­son, Chauncey Ol­cott John­stone, a fre­quent Saratoga Springs vis­i­tor, ac­cepted the Hall of Fame award dur­ing an Oct. 5 in­duc­tion cer­e­mony gala at the Car­di­nal O’Hara Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter in Ton­awanda.

“This is quite an honor, a great honor,” John­stone said.

He pointed out that early en­ter­tain­ers didn’t have the ben­e­fit of mod­ern elec­tron­ics and tech­nol-

ogy dur­ing per­for­mances.

“This is a man who many years ago put his mu­sic out just by voice,” John­stone said. “What’s won­der­ful about it is the songs are go­ing on and on and on. The Ir­ish are still march­ing along.”

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, the crowd was treated to an orig­i­nal record­ing of Ol­cott’s pow­er­ful tenor voice singing, “When Ir­ish Eyes Are Smil­ing,” the num­ber one song of 1913, which he co-wrote. It was cap­tured on old 78-RPM record.

He is also cred­ited with pop­u­lar­iz­ing “Tura-Lu­raLu­ral” (That’s an Ir­ish Lul­laby).

His ca­reer took him from min­strel shows to fame in Lon­don, and then on Broad­way.

After his death, on St. Pa­trick’s Day in 1932, Warner Broth­ers did a film on his life called “My Wild Ir­ish Rose,” star­ring Den­nis Mor­gan as Ol­cott.

PHOTO PRO­VIDED

The late Chauncey Ol­cott was in­ducted re­cently to the Buffalo Mu­sic Hall of Fame. A small wooden statue of him and his Hall of Fame award are shown.

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