Ernest R. Ball

Ernest R. Ball

Real Name:
Ernest R. Ball
born July 22, 1878, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
died May 3, 1927, Santa Ana, California, USA.

American singer and songwriter. Most famous for composing the music for the song "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" in 1912.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Ball received formal music training at the Cleveland Conservatory. His nascent career was much buoyed by James J. Walker, then a state senator of New York, who asked Ball to write music for some lyrics he wrote. Ball did, and the song "Will You Love Me In December as You Do In May?" became a hit. Walker later became known as "Dapper Jimmy Walker", Mayor of New York City, a fortunate event for Ball's career.

Ball accompanied singers, sang in vaudeville and wrote sentimental ballads, mostly with Irish themes. He collaborated with Chauncey Olcott on many songs including "When Irish Eyes are Smiling," for which Olcott composed lyrics. He became a charter member of ASCAP in 1907, and wrote many American standards. He was also a fine pianist, and his playing is preserved on several piano roll recordings he made for the Vocalstyle company, based in his home state of Ohio. He died in his dressing room at the Yost Theatre in Santa Ana, California while on tour with "Ernie Ball and His Gang" an act starring Ball and a male octet. Ball was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

A 1944 musical Irish Eyes Are Smiling told the story of Ball's career and starred Dick Haymes and June Haver.

His grandson is the guitar string entrepreneur Ernie Ball (3).

Ernest R. Ball Discography


John Barry Let The Rest Of The World Go By John Barry - Out of Africa (Album) MCA Records Canada 1988 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

A1978 Ernest R. Ball / Henry Burr Good-Bye, Good Luck, God Bless You Ernest R. Ball / Henry Burr - Wake Up, America(Shellac, 10") Columbia Records A1978 Canada 1916 Sell This Version


APWCD1029 Various Mother Machree and 1 more… Various - Irish the old country(CD-ROM, Comp) Musicbank Limited APWCD1029 UK 1999 Sell This Version