Title: Aunt Mandy’s Wedding March, Composed By: Will. H. Tyers, Published By: Jos. W. Stern & Co., Location: New York, Year: 1899
Born in 1876, William H. Tyers was a prominent musician among the new generation of black musicians and performers who burst upon the New York City scene after 1898. He arranged the songs for The Policy Players, Bert Williams and George Walker’s second New York City musical.
Tyers conducted an orchestra at the Strand Roof Garden and was assistant conductor of James Reese Europe’s Clef Club Symphony Orchestra at its 1912 Carnegie Hall concert. The ensemble consisted of 125 musicians and included mandolins and banjos; the repertoire consisted entirely of compositions by black composers.
In 1919 Tyers was the assistant director of Will Marion Cook’s New York Syncopated Orchestra. The orchestra toured England and played for King George V.
Tyers’ songs, especially “Panama,” “Maori,” and “Trocha,” were popular with black bands. Both “Panama” and “Maori” were recorded by Duke Ellington for Brunswick Records in 1928.
One of the first black composers to join ASCAP, Tyers died in 1924.
b. 11 January 1870, New York City, New York, USA, d. 31 March 1934. A self-taught but somewhat amateurish pianist, Stern was a travelling salesman when he met another salesman, Edward B. Marks (1865-1944). Marks had already dabbled with song lyrics. One evening, when the two men were stormbound in a small hotel they whiled away the time making up a song about an item in the local newspaper. With foresight, Stern and Marks set up their own publishing company for their ‘The Little Lost Child’ and soon found themselves rich. The song’s popularity with vaudeville audiences led to the two men deciding to make songwriting and publishing their full time work. The next few years saw them write songs such as ‘No One Ever Loved More Than I’, ‘My Mother Was A Lady’, ‘Games We Used To Play’ and ‘Don’t Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve’. Their style of song became a little dated after the turn of the century and soon Stern decided to retire. Marks continued publishing songs and worked briefly in national government.