20th September 1862
13th April 1932
New York, NY, USA
Mary Earl Earl was a pen name for Robert A. "Bobo" King
At only age six, Robert was already taking piano lessons. He took a job in Ditson's music store as a young boy. A little later, Leo Feist, the Tin Pan Alley publisher, hired the younster, and before long, he was writing pop songs. In 1903, he had his very first hit song with "Anona".
King was one of those truly prolific composers whose output is not counted. He wrote songs under his own name, under pseudonyms (very often a feminine name), and even anonymously. As a result, there is now no way to estimate his total output.
During WW1, King, like other composers, wrote inspirational war songs. Among them, we find: Lafayette, We Hear You Calling and When the Boys Come Home.
In 1918, he went to work for Shapiro-Bernstein Music Publishers under a contract to produce 4 songs per month. Two of the songs he composed under this contract were big hits: the 1918 Beautiful Ohio, with lyric by Ballard Smith and his 1919 Dreamy Alabama, words and lyric by King. (both published under the pseudonym of Mary Earl.)
Some of the songs that are directly traceable to King are: Beautiful Hawaii, In Old Manila, Isle Of Paradise, Hawaiian Smiles, I Ain't Nobody's Darling, Why DiId I Kiss That Girl, Just Like a Rainbow, Apple Blossoms, I Scream, You Scream, Ain't My Baby Grand and Moonlight on the Colorado.
During the course of his career, he also composed various concert pieces including Gavottes; Polkas; Marches, and Waltzes.