Born in St. Stephen in 1885, Henry Burr, a highly prolific recording artist of his time, made recordings under various names including his real name, Harry McClaskey, and pseudonyms like Irving Gillette, Harry Haley, Alfred Alexander, and Shamus McClaskey. In total, he has been associated with at least 11 different names for various companies who could afford his services.
As a child, McClaskey started singing and became a boy soprano with a Saint John concert band at the age of 13. Giuseppe Campanari, a Metropolitan Opera baritone, heard him and recommended that he study in the United States. In New York, McClaskey was mentored by Ellen Burr and John D. Meehan. He performed at Grace Methodist Episcopal Church in New York and began recording for Columbia as a teenager in 1902.
In 1915, McClaskey established the Paroquette Record Manufacturing Co and operated a music publishing firm under his name in New York for several years. He penned the lyrics for Ray Perkins’ song “Stand Up and Sing for Your Father an Old-Time Tune.” Burr’s radio career began in the early 1920s, featuring on New York’s Goodrich Zippers and Cities Service programs.
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