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Cahn began writing with Saul Chaplin. They wrote Jimmie Lunceford’s theme song, “Rhythm Is Our Business” (1935), “Until The Real Thing Comes Along” (1936), and “Bei Mir Bist du Schoen” (1938), adapted from a Yiddish song, which put the Andrews Sisters on the charts.
Cahn’s next collaboration was with Jule Styne writing for movies. 1944 alone brought “There Goes That Song Again,” “I’ll Walk Alone,” and “Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week.” “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” “The Things We Did Last Summer,” “Time After Time,” and “It’s Magic” represent the next four years.
Cahn had partnered with Jimmy Van Heusen on “It Seems I’ve Heard that Song Before” (1942) and the Broadway show, High Button Shoes (1947). Frank Sinatra reunited them for television’s Our Town in 1955, and Cahn enjoyed his most rewarding period, including the Oscars and Emmy. The Cahn/Van Heusen songs revived Sinatra’s career: “The Tender Trap” (1955), “Come Fly with Me” (1957), “Only the Lonely” (1958), “The Second Time Around” (1960), “My Kind of Town” (1964), and “September of My Years” (1965).
William Zinsser points out in Easy to Remember that Cahn was highly adept at tailoring lyrics to the singer. For instance, his emotionally obtuse lyrics perfectly suited Bing Crosby while he wrote up-front, emotionally bold lyrics for Sinatra.
Cahn is survived by his son, jazz guitarist Steve Khan.
- Sandra Burlingame
At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price
I Should Care: The Sammy Cahn Story
William Knowlton Zinsser
Easy to Remember: The Great American Songwriters and Their Songs
David R. Godine Publisher
Sammy Cahn's Rhyming Dictionary
Cherry Lane Music
Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Maggie McNamara
Three Coins In the Fountain
20th Century Fox
Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Eleanor Parker, Carolyn Jones, Thelma Ritter, Keenan Wynn
A Hole in the Head
MGM (Video & DVD)
Julie Andrews, James Fox
Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Robert Keith, Grant Williams, Robert J. Wilke, Edward Platt, Harry Shannon, John Larch, Joseph Granby, Roy Glenn, Maidie Norman, William Schallert, Joanne Jordan, Dani Crayne, Dorothy Porter
Written on the Wind - Criterion Collection
DVD Wrote title song with Victor Young
Jackie Gleason, Glynis Johns, Charles Ruggles
Papa's Delicate Condition
Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds
The Tender Trap (1955)
Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Don DeFore, Doris Day, Oscar Levant, S.Z. Sakall, Page Cavanaugh Trio
Romance on the High Seas / Movie
VHS Introduced "It's Magic"
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