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John W Bratton

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John W. Bratton


John Walter Bratton (21 January 1867, New Castle, Del. – 7 February 1947, Brooklyn, N.Y.) was an American Tin Pan Alley composer and theatrical producer who became popular during the era known as the Gay Nineties.

Raised by his grandmother, Mary Bratton, in New Castle, Delaware, near Wilmington, John Walter Bratton (sometimes spelled Bratten) was the son of John F. and Emma Bratton, of whom little is known. He was educated at the Harkness Academy in Wilmington and later attended the Philadelphia College of Music before embarking on a career as a baritone singer.

John Bratton's career soon moved from performer to composer and producer. He began in the chorus of a show called Ship Ahoy for $18 a week and not before too long was selling songs written with his friend, lyricist Walter H. Ford, for as little as $10 a title. Over the years Bratton would collaborate on over 250 songs with Ford and Paul West. One of their earlier tunes was a tribute to veterans of the Spanish–American War called Hats off to the Boys Who Made Good, that years later Bratton conceded was "terrible". Today he is remembered for his composition Op103, dating from 1907, Teddy Bears' Picnic the only one of his songs to be a lasting hit.

Tunes Bratton wrote that were popular in their day include The Sunshine of Paradise Alley (ca. 1895), Henrietta, Have You Met Her?, (ca. 1895) I love you in the Same Old Way, (ca. 1896) Isabella and In a Cosey Corner ( ca. 1901). As half of the firm Lefler and Bratton he produced the musical comedies Hodge Podge and Co. (1900), The Star and the Garter (1900), The Man from China (1904), The Pearl and the Pumpkin (1905) and others.

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