Skip Navigation
NPR News
American songwriter Sammy Cahn, pictured above in 1987, would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year. He died in 1993, at the age of 79. (AP)

Celebrating The Centennial Of Lyricist Sammy Cahn

Dec 13, 2013 (Fresh Air)

Hear this

This text will be replaced
Launch in player

Share this

Explore this

Reported by

2013 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of lyricist Sammy Cahn, who was born Samuel Cohen, on the Lower East Side of New York City, on June 18, 1913. We didn't want the year to end without celebrating this centennial.

Cahn had his most successful and enduring partnerships with composers Saul Chaplin, Jule Styne and Jimmy Van Heusen. Several of his songs were written for Frank Sinatra. Cahn died in 1993, at the age of 79.

He spoke with Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 1985, and — as you'll hear — he'd sing his songs at the slightest provocation. And when he was commissioned to write a song for a particular singer, he would insist on performing it to show what he had in mind. When it was time to demonstrate a song for a great singer, Cahn never lacked confidence, even if the singer was Sinatra.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Read full story transcript

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.