Songwriter, 1913-1992

Sammy Cahn was one of the great lyricists (although he preferred the word lyrist, because Oscar Hammerstein II used the shorter word) of the 40s and 50s.

Usually collaborating with Jimmy Van Heusen, though he worked with many composers, he gained a reputation as someone who could write a lyric to order, quickly, and with the elegance that was necessary at the time.

Frank Sinatra recorded 87 of Cahn's songs, including High Hopes, Come Fly With Me and Love And Marriage - while Cahn wrote for other singers the songs he wrote for Sinatra tend to be those both men are best remembered for.

Cahn was the consummate craftsman, who took pride in the 'architecture' of his lyrics. Unfortunately, this plus his simillar pride in coming up with a usable lyric quickly often led him to the most facile solutions - hence lines like 'high apple pie in the sky hopes'.

Cahn spent much of the latter part of his life touring, doing a one man stage show in which he talked about the writing of his greatest songs and performed them. He also wrote parody lyrics for classic songs for corporate events, something many would regard as a debasement of his talent. He disagreed - his pride was in the craftsmanship as much as the result, and he called these 'special lyrics'. He was also active, however, in promoting the art of songwriting. His rhyming dictionary is still the most used by lyricists, and he was one of the principal campaigners for the creation of the Songwriters' Hall Of Fame.

Other songs he wrote include The Tender Trap, My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is),Call Me Irresponsible, Let It Snow,It's Nice To Go Trav'ling, and many more...

Some info taken from Songwriters On Songwriting by Paul Zollo

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