- James Fisher
Fisher, Fred (30 September 1875–14 January 1942), composer and lyricist of popular songs, was born Alfred Breitenbach in Cologne, Germany, the son of Max Breitenbach and Theodora (maiden name unknown). He spent his earliest years in Germany before his family immigrated to the United States, where his parents became citizens. When he reached his teen years, young Alfred’s life was filled with remarkable adventures that were typical of the dime novels of the day. At the age of thirteen he ran away from home to enlist in the German navy. A few years later he joined the French Foreign Legion before immigrating back to America on a cattle boat in 1900. Settling in Chicago and changing his name to Fred Fisher, he learned to play the piano from a black barroom pianist in hopes of becoming a popular songwriter....