Andy Razaf (December 16, 1895 â€“ February 3, 1973), (born Andriamanantena Paul Razafinkarefo also Razafkeriefo) was an African American composer, poet, and lyricist of such well-known songs as "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Honeysuckle Rose".
Born in Washington, D.C., Razaf was the son of Henri Razafkeriefo, nephew of Queen Ranavalona III of Madagascar, and Jennie (Waller) Razafkeriefo, the daughter of John L. Waller, the first African American consul to Madagascar. The French invasion of Madagascar left his father dead, and forced his 15-year-old mother to escape with the boy to the United States, where their lives were anything but royal. Raised in Harlem, at the age of 16 Andy quit school and took a job as an elevator operator at a Tin Pan Alley office building. A year later he penned his first song text, embarking on his career as a lyricist. During this time he would spend many nights in the Greyhound bus station in Times Square and would pick up his mail at the Gaiety Theatre office building which was considered the black tin pan alley
Some of Razaf's early poems were published in 1917-18 in the Hubert Harrison-edited "Voice," the first.