Cahn, Sammy

Cahn, Sammy

(kän), 1913–93, American lyricist, b. New York City as Samuel Cohen. With his first collaborator, Saul Chaplin, he wrote material for vaudeville, and scored his first success (1935) with "Rhythm Is Our Business." He was even more successful with a 1938 version of the Yiddish "Bei Mir Bist du Shoen," which became a number-one hit for the Andrews Sisters. Cahn soon moved to Hollywood, where he collaborated with composer Jule Styne (1942–51) to write songs for 19 movies. He also wrote lyrics for several Broadway musicals, beginning with High Button Shoes (1947). Later collaborating with Jimmy Van Heusen, Cahn often worked with Frank SinatraSinatra, Frank
(Francis Albert Sinatra), 1915–98, American singer and actor, b. Hoboken, N.J. During the late 1930s and early 40s he sang with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands, causing teenage girls to shriek and swoon over his romantic, seemingly casual renditions
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. The singer recorded 89 Cahn songs, including "Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954), "All the Way" 1957), "High Hopes" (1959), and "Call Me Irresponsible" (1963), each of which won Cahn an Academy Award. Toward the end of his active career (1974) he starred in a one-man Broadway show featuring his songs.


See his autobiography, I Should Care (1974).

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Cahn, Sammy (b. Samuel Cohen)

(1913–93) lyricist; born in New York City. While a boy he played violin in a Dixieland band and decided to write songs. With pianist Saul Chaplin he wrote many hits of the 1930s. Throughout the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s he wrote many popular songs for Hollywood, Broadway, and television with composers Jule Styne and James Van Heusen. A prolific lyricist and writer, he published The Songwriter's Rhyming Dictionary in 1984.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.