Born: June 18, 1913 | Died: January 15, 1993 Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor/leader
Sammy Cahn was nominated for more than 30 Oscars, and won four times. His songs were recorded by virtually every major singer. And he wrote some of the best known of all popular songs.
He was born Samuel Cohen in New York on June 18, 1913 into a family of Jewish immigrants from Polish Galicia, and spent his childhood on the Lower East Side. He attended Seward Park High School. Early on, he learned to play the violin, and from the time he was fourteen he played in local Bar Mitzvah bands. While still in his teens, he played the violin in pit bands of burlesque houses. He became friendly with fellow band-member, pianist Saul Chaplin, and they began writing songs together. At first they wrote specialty numbers for vaudeville acts. Then, in 1935 they wrote Rhythm Is Our Business for the Jimmy Lunceford Band. Lunceford recorded it, and it became the Lunceford Band's theme song. In 1936 they had another success with Until The Real Thing Comes Along.
In 1937, they adapted Bei Mir Bist Du Shon, which they mistakenly believed to be a Yiddish folk song- -it was actually a modern Yiddish theater song by Sholom Secunda--into English for the then- unknown Andrews Sisters. The Andrews Sisters had a huge hit with the song, and Cahn and Chaplin were on their way.
In 1940, Cahn and Chaplin went to Hollywood. Soon they parted ways, and in 1942 Cahn began writing with Jules Styne. They would write songs together for 19 films between 1942 and 1951. Among their songs were I've Heard That Song Before (1942); I'll Walk Alone(1944); Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week(1944); It's The Same Old Dream (1947); and Time After Time (1947). In 1948, for the Doris Day film Romance on the High Seas, they wrote It's Magic and Put 'Em In A Box, Tie 'Em With A Ribbon.
In 1947, Styne and Cahn wrote a successful Broadway musical High Button Shoes. Other results of Cahn's collaboration with Styne were Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, There Goes That Song Again, The Things We Did Last Summer, and Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry.
With music by Nicholas Brodzsky, Cahn wrote Mario Lanza's first hit Be My Love(1950). Working again with Jules Styne, Cahn won an Oscar for the title song of the 1954 film Three Coins in the Fountain.
Sammy Cahn had been friendly with Frank Sinatra from Sinatra's early days with Tommy Dorsey, and many of his songs had been written for Sinatra's movies. In 1955, Sinatra introduced Cahn to composer Jimmy Van Heusen, beginning Cahn's last major collaboration. They wrote the title song for the 1955 Sinatra film The Tender Trap. Also in 1955, Cahn and Van Heusen wrote a TV musical version of Our Town, which starred Sinatra, Paul Newman, and Eva Marie Saint. It included Love And Marriage.
In 1957, Cahn and Van Heusen wrote All The Way for the Sinatra film The Joker Is Wild. It won Cahn his second Oscar.
Several of Cahn and Van Heusen's songs were written as title songs for Sinatra albums, including 1957's Come Fly With Me, 1958's Only The Lonely, 1959's Come Dance With Me (and they also wrote that album's closing song, The Last Dance), 1959's When No One Cares, and 1965's September Of My Years. They were the producers of Sinatra's 1959-60 television series.
In 1959 came Sinatra's film A Hole in the Head, for which they wrote High Hopes. The song won Cahn his third Oscar, and later (with a revised lyric) became John F. Kennedy's campaign song.
In 1960, Sinatra recorded The Second Time Around. Cahn won his fourth Oscar, and Van Heusen his third, in 1963 for Call Me Irresponsible, from Papa's Delicate Condition.
They wrote My Kind Of Town for Sinatra's 1964 film Robin and the Seven Hoods. In 1965 Cahn and Van Heusen tried their hands at Broadway with the musical Skyscraper. The show was not a success, but it included I'll Only Miss Her When I Think Of Her.
Cahn long association with Frank Sinatra led to Sinatra's recording 89 of Cahn's songs, many of them more than once.
He became a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. When his friend Johnny Mercer became ill, Mercer asked Cahn to take over as President of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 1974, Cahn did a one-man show on Broadway called Words and Music. He performed it again on tour numerous times in the years that followed.
Sammy Cahn died in Los Angeles, California on January 15, 1993.
1960 Ain't That a Kick in the Head
1957 All the Way
1958 All My Tomorrows
1973 All That Love Went to Waste
1973 Amor Mio
1944 And Then You Kissed Me
1944 As Long As There Is Music
1954 Autumn in Rome
1963 Ballad of Johnny Cool, The
1950 Be My Love
1952 Because You're Mine
1937 Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
1959 Best of Everything, The
1962 Boys' Night Out, The
1947 Brooklyn Bridge
1963 Call Me Irresponsible
1947 Can't You Just See Yourself
1944 Charm of You, The
1954 Christmas Waltz, The
1963 Come Blow Your Horn
1959 Come Dance With Me
1958 Come Fly With Me
1944 Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
Come Waltz With Me
1946 Day By Day
Dick Haymes, Dick Todd and Como
1964 Don't Be a Do-Badder
1948 Ever Homeward
1948 Every Day I Love You
1958 Every Day's a Holiday in Paris
1965 Everybody Has the Right to be Wrong
1953 Face to Face
1946 Five Minutes More
1952 Good Little Girls Go to Heaven
1944 Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry
1956 Hey! Jealous Lover
1959 High Hopes
How Are Ya Fixed for Love?
1947 I Believe
I Could Make You Care
1973 I Couldn't Care Less
1944 I Fall in Love Too Easily
1964 I Like to Lead When I Dance
1945 I Should Care
1957 I Still Get Jealous
I Wouldn't Trade Christmas
If It's the Last Thing I Do
1955 I'll Never Stop Loving You
1965 I'll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her
1944 I'll Walk Alone
1945 I'm Glad I Waited for You
1955 Impatient Years, The
It Gets Lonely Early
1963 It's a Darn Good Thing
1945 It's Been a Long, Long Time
1948 It's Magic
1958 It's Nice to Go Trav'ling
1947 It's the Same Old Dream
1948 It's You or No One
1942 I've Heard That Song Before
1944 Keep Your Powder Dry
1959 Last Dance, The
1946 Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
1973 Let Me Try Again
Look of Love, The
1955 Look to Your Heart
1955 Love and Marriage
Love Makes Us Whatever We Want to Be
1964 Mister Booze
1964 My Kind of Town
1975 My Little Friend
Name It and It's Yours
1973 Night Has Many Eyes, The
No One Cares
1958 Nothing in Common
1973 Nudge Me
1951 Oh, He Looked Like He Might Buy Wine
Old Fashioned Christmas, An
1958 Only the Lonely
1955 Our Town
1947 Papa, Won't You Dance With Me?
1938 Please Be Kind
1959 Pocket Full of Miracles
1944 Poor Little Rhode Island
1948 Put 'em in a Box, Tie 'em with a Ribbon
1935 Rhythm Is Our Business
1935 Rhythm In My Nursery Rhymes
1955 Same Old Saturday Night
Same Old Song and Dance, The
1944 Saturday Night is the Loneliest Night in the Week
Saving Myself for You
1951 Second Star to the Right
1960 Second Time Around, The
September of My Years, The
1933 Shake Your Head from Side to Side
1936 Shoe Shine Boy
So Long, My Love
1944 Some Other Time
1955 Teach Me Tonight
1957 Tender Trap, The
1944 There Goes That Song Again
1959 They Came to Cordura
1947 Things We Did Last Summer, The
1967 Thoroughly Modern Millie
1954 Three Coins in the Fountain
1947 Time After Time
1958 To Love and Be Loved
1973 Touch of Class
1936 Until the Real Thing Comes Along
1943 Vict'ry Polka
1962 Walking Happy
1944 What Makes the Sunset?
When No One Cares
When Somebody Loves You
1944 Where Did You Learn to Love?
1964 Where Love Has Gone
1950 Wonder Why
You, My Love
You Never Had It So Good
1939 You're a Lucky Guy
1947 You're My Girl
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