Percy Wenrich biography

Percy Wenrich


1887 – 1952


Who was Percy Wenrich?

Percy Wenrich was a United States composer of ragtime and popular music.

Born in Joplin, Missouri, he left for Chicago in 1901 and moved on to New York City around 1907 to work as a Tin Pan Alley composer, but his music retains a Missouri folk flavor. He composed at least eighteen rags, including "Ashy Africa," "Noodles," "Peaches and Cream", "Crabapples," and "The Smiler". His songs include "Wabash Avenue After Dark" and the hits "Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet", "When You Wore a Tulip and I Wore a Big Red Rose" and "Minnetonka". "If It's Good Enough for Washington It's Good Enough for Me" with words by Ren Shields, from 1908, was a song about a homeless man sleeping on a bench in a public square with statues of Washington, Jefferson, McKinley, Grant and Lee. "If it's good enough for Washington, It's good enough for me, I'm proud that I am here tonight to keep him company, I'm proud to sleep out with the man that set our country free, If it's good enough for Washington, it's good enough for me."

Wenrich married vaudeville performer Dolly Connolly and in 1911 wrote the hit "Red Rose Rag" for her with lyrics by Edward Madden. In 1912 Wenrich and Madden had another hit with "Moonlight Bay." Wenrich and Connolly toured together for many years.


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"Percy Wenrich." STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 13 Jun 2021. <>.

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Jan 23, 1887
Lived in
  • Joplin
Mar 17, 1952
New York City

on July 23, 2013

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