T.B. Harms

Max Dreyfus (1874-1964)
Jerome Kern cover
Youmans later cover
Gershwin Harms-New World cover
Harms-FDH cover (1916)



Harms was the largest publisher of popular sheet music in the United States in 1920. This was at the height of the pre-radio, film, and record era, when fortunes could be made from only two sources: live performances (vaudeville and theatrical shows) and printed scores. The business talent which propelled Harms to this position was that of Max Dreyfus (1874-1964), not the Harms themselves.

Much earlier, in 1875 the two Harms brothers Alexander T. Harms (1856–1901) and Thomas B. Harms (1860-1906) founded a music publishing firm in New York and named it T.B. Harms & Co. It succeeded in promoting popular sheet music in spite of the limited mass media of the time. Among its successes were When the Robins Nest Again (1883) and The Letter That Never Came.

Twenty-five years later, in 1901, the enterprising Max Dreyfus (1874-1964), a musical arranger, bought a 25% interest in the firm and within three years (1904) bought the firm outright, keeping the name T.B. Harms & Co., Inc. He had a unique ability to find new composers, and within ten years he had signed nearly every significant popular composer of the day: Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Vincent Youmans, Richard Rodgers, and Cole Porter. The firm's proximity to America's theatrical music mecca of Broadway was a great help.

From 1908 to 1920 the British firm Francis, Day & Hunter owned one-third of the company's stock and the firm was known as T.B.Harms & Francis, Day & Hunter; this allowed Harms to widen its market to the U.K. and the British Empire, and at the same time helped Francis, Day & Hunter to sell its British songs in the U.S.

The 1920s brought big changes. Louis Dreyfus (1877–1967), Max’s brother, became the New York manager for the British publisher Chappell. Francis, Day & Hunter sold its interest in Harms and the firm's name reverted to T.B. Harms, Inc. In 1927 Harms set up New World Music Corporation to market the Gershwins' music. Finally, in 1929 Dreyfus sold out to Warner Brothers, who renamed it Music Publishers Holding Corporation. From 1935 Max Dreyfus worked with his brother Louis at Chappell's New York office.


Imprints, Addresses, Agencies


  • T.B. Harms & Co. (1881)
  • T.B. Harms & Francis, Day & Hunter (1908-1920)
  • T.B. Harms (1920-1929)
  • New World Music Corporation (from 1927) - Music of George Gershwin
  • Music Publishers Holding Corporation (1929 forward, after sale to Warner Brothers)


New York
  • 819 Broadway (1881)
  • RCA Building, Rockefeller Center (1919-29)
  • 62 West 45th Street (1922)

Plate Numbers

Dates in italics are estimated.

Plate Composer Work Year
0297 Faning I've Something Sweet to Tell You
5094 Hein, Silvio Some Little Bug is Going to Find You 1915
5260 Lauder, Harry Doughie the Baker 1915
5308 Lauder Rotary 1916
5323 Lauder The Night Before (Aye, Something Happens to Me!; vocal score) 1916
5397 Various The Big Show (4. Poor Butterfly; vocal score) 1916
5401 Kálmán Miss Springtime (8. My Castle in the Air; vocal score) 1916
5402 Kálmán Miss Springtime (10. Someone; vocal score) 1916
5810 Herbert Angel Face (1. I Might Be Your Once-in-a-While; vocal score) 1919
6095 Openshaw, John Love Sends a Little Gift of Roses 1919
6129 Herbert The Girl in the Spotlight (2. I Cannot Sleep Without Dreaming of You; vocal score) 1920
6178 Levey, Harold Lady Billy (10. Duet: Goodbye; vocal score) 1920
6524 Herbert A Kiss in the Dark 1922
6635 Openshaw Love Sends a Little Gift of Roses (re-issue) 1922
7009 Openshaw June Brought the Roses 1924
7271 Gershwin Lady, Be Good (7. Oh, Lady Be Good!; vocal score) 1924
7430 Campbell, Jimmy Show Me the Way to Go Home 1925
7464 Thornton She May Have Seen Better Days (re-issue) 1925
7468 Gaunt, Percy A Trip to Chinatown (1. The Bowery; vocal score, re-issue) 1925
7479 Scanlan, William Jay Molly-O! (re-issue) 1925
7480 Dacre Daisy Bell (re-issue) 1925
7481 Filson, Al W. Maggie, the Cows Are in the Clover (re-issue) 1925
7647 Howard Hello! Ma Baby (re-issue) 1925
7736 Ward, Charles B. The Band Played On (Sirmay ed.) 1926
7851 Gershwin Oh, Kay! (5. Someone to Watch over Me; vocal score) 1926
8003 Henderson, Ray Just a Memory 1927
8077 Various Golden Dawn (1. The Whip; vocal score) 1927
8092 Various Golden Dawn (3. Here in the Dark; vocal score) 1927
8111 Various Take the Air (6. Maybe I'll Baby You; vocal score) 1927
8112 Various Take the Air (15. Ham and Eggs in the Morning; vocal score) 1927
8113 Ruby, Harry The Five O'Clock Girl (selections, arr. Grant) 1927
8126 Various Take the Air (12. All I Want is a Lullaby; vocal score) 1927
8197 Grossman, Edward Dolores 1928
8344 Hanley, James Frederick The Rainbow Man (3. Rainbow Man; vocal score) 1929
8348 Hanley The Rainbow Man (2. Little Pal; vocal score) 1929
8349 Hanley The Rainbow Man (1. Sleepy Valley; vocal score) 1929
8970 Noble, Ray Say It with Music (2. Love is the Sweetest Thing; vocal score) 1933

T.B.H.Co. ###

Plate Composer Work Year
090 Kern Head Over Heels (5. The Big Show; vocal score) 1918
141 Various The Night Boat (3. Left All Alone Again Blues; vocal score) 1920
163 Kern Hitchy-Koo (1920) (8. The Old Town; vocal score) 1920


Sources Consulted

Authority Control