Composer Theodore Morse was born on April 13, 1873 in Washington CD. As a boy, he studied both the piano and violin and at the age of 14, left the Maryland Military Academy for New York City. He worked in a music shop in Harlem and then as a salesman for the Oliver Ditson Music Company. Concurrently, Morse began writing songs.
His first published song came in 1897 with “Goodbye Dolly Gary” (written by Will D. Cobb and Paul Barnes) and published by his own company, Morse Music. The company folded and Morse took a job with Howley, Haviland and Dresser, working as a pianist, composer and arranger. He became the principal composer and full partner of the firm and in 1914, was also a charter member of the performing rights society, ASCAP.
Morse collaborated with several lyricists on the Alley, chiefly Edward Madden, Richard Buck, Howard Johnson, Al Bryan, Jack Mahoney and his wife, Theodora Morse.
Highlights from the Morse catalog include “Dear Old Girl”, “Aren’t You the Wise Old Owl?”, “I’ve Got a Feelin’ for You”, “A Little Boy Called Taps”, “Keep a Little Cosy Corner in Your Heart for Me”, “Down in Jungle Town”, “Good Old USA”, “Keep on the Sunny Side”, “He’s a College Boy”, “Another Rag”, “When Uncle Joe Plays a Rag on His Old Banjo”, “Bobbin’ Up and Down”, “I’d Rather Be a Lobster than a Wise Guy”, “M-O-T-H-E-R”, “Hail! Hail! The Gang’s All Here!” and “Sing Me Love’s Lullaby”.
Theodore Morse died on May 25, 1924 in New York City.