John Stafford Smith (March 30, 1750 ? September 21, 1836) was an English composer born in Gloucester, church organist, and early musicologist. He was one of the first serious collectors of manuscripts of works by Johann Sebastian Bach.
He is best known for writing the music for "To Anacreon in Heaven". This song was written in the mid-1760s, when Smith was a teenager, and with words by Ralph Tomlinson it was the official song of the Anacreontic Society, a group of amateur musicians in London. It quickly became a very popular song in Kingdom of Great Britain and the United States.
In 1814 Francis Scott Key wrote the poem 'The Star-Spangled Banner' to be sung to the tune of 'Anacreon', and this was officially designated as the national anthem of the United States in 1931. At one time, the same tune was also used as the national anthem of Luxembourg, but their anthem has since changed. Text source : Wikipedia (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)