American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2011 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 6

Harry Richman

1895— 1972

Harry was as much a symbol of the 1920s as Stutz Bearcat, bathtub gin and buying stocks on margin. He Americanized the European concept of a boulevardier. Dapper, gregarious and a trifle smarmy, Harry possessed a glorious voice. There were echoes of Al Jolson, his idol, but Harry’s voice was richer instrument and capable of ornamental feats and dazzling runs up the scale.

Harry lived life to the fullest. He was host of one of Manhattan most famous speakeasies, Club Richman, had well-publicized affairs with Clara Bow and Jean Harlow and went Lucky Lindy one better by flying across the Atlantic and back in his little airplane. Unfortunately, he paid little attention to his finances or his voice. Both wore out, but Harry maintained a good front.