Cahn, Sammy

Cahn, Sammy kän [key], 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 Sinatra. 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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