Sammy Cahn Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Sammy Cahn was an American musician and songwriter. He is well known for emotional expression in songs.
He was born as Samuel Cohen on June 18, 1913, in Lower East Side, New York City. He was the only son of the couple Abraham and Elka Reiss Cohen. They migrated from Galicia under the administration of Austria-Hungary. He had four siblings -all sisters - Sadye, Pearl, Florence, and Evelyn. All the four sisters studied piano.
His parents wanted Samuel to be a professional man. Cohen changed his name twice to avoid uncertainty and finally settled at Cahn.
Sammy Cahn practiced piano in the beginning and joined Dixieland band known as Pals of Harmony. Here he entertained his new dream. He did some odd jobs like playing violin in the orchestra, a packer at a meat packing unit, lift operator, cashier in an inn and as a porter in a binding shop.
As a boy, he used to watch light entertainment and was a fan from the age of 10.
Samuel heard Jack Osterman singing a traditional song authored by Osterman. Cahn on his way after the programme wrote his first lyric; Like Niagara Falls, I’m Falling for You– Baby.
In the initial stages, Sammy Cahn wrote along with Saul Chaplin. Both wrote songs for Warner Brothers in a studio in Brooklyn, New York. The Cahn and Chaplin duo started writing special material. He got acquainted with Lou Levy his childhood friend and a renowned music publisher. Lou and Cahn authored “Rhythm is Our Business” for a musical. They obtained a copyright for this song. Their song for Frank Sinatra became as an identifying song for them.
Cahn’s lyric Love and Marriage became a subject song for FOX-TV show Married..with Children. The song achieved the Emmy Award in 1956.
He wrote songs for two movies Land of Oz, Journey Back to OZ (1971) and The Wizard of OZ (1982). These were authored jointly with Van Heusen and Allen Byrns, Joe Hisaishi and Yuichiro Oda. Cahn authored many lyrics for many songs.
Sammy Cahn achieved the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. He also became the president of Song Writers Association.
Sammy Cahn married Gloria Delson, a musician and Goldwyn girl in 1945. The couple had two children. In 1965, she married Mike Franks, a top-class tennis player.
In 1970, he married Virginia (Tita) Curtis, a fashion designer. The couple had two children – Laurie Cahn and guitarist Steve Khan.
Sammy Cahn died on January 15, 1993, at the age of 79 in Los Angeles, California. The cause of death was heart failure. His body laid to rest in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
Honors and Awards
Cahn has achieved 31 Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards and one Emmy Award. He got the Grammy Award. He also got the Christopher Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Theatre World Award. The Sammy Film Music Awards founded in his honor.
In 1993, Cahn founded “High Hopes Fund” at the Joslin Diabetes Centre in Boston.