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Celebrating The Centennial Of Lyricist Sammy Cahn

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.
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.

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.

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