Hays, W(illiam) S(hakespeare)

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Hays, W(illiam) S(hakespeare)

Hays, W(illiam) S(hakespeare), American composer; b. Louisville, Ky., July 19, 1837; d. there, July 22, 1907. He worked on Ohio and Mississippi river-boats, and later wrote the “River” column for the Louisville Courier-Journal. He became successful as a writer of verse and a composer of songs, in spite of the fact that he had no formal training. Some 20 million copies of his songs were publ., including such popular numbers as “Evangeline” (1857), “The Drummer Boy of Shiloh” (1862), and “Mollie Darling” (1873).


F. Stoll, W. S. H: Kentucky Composer, Marine Editor, Poet (thesis, Univ. of Ky, 1943); G. Grise, W. S. H: His Life and Works (thesis, Western Ky. State Teachers Coll., 1947); M. Chrisman, W. S. H: A Biography (thesis, Univ. of Minn., 1980).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire