Sammy Cahn (Samuel Cohen) lived from 1913 until 1993. If you care about anything at all, there’s a song written by
Sammy Cahn for you to relate to. Sammy Cahn, the Tin Pan
Alley legend, was born Samuel Cohen in
New York City.
As a youngster, little Sammy wanted to grow up to be a
famous vaudeville fiddler. How lucky we are that he stopped
thinking about this in his teenage years. That’s when he met
pianist, Saul Chaplin. Sammy wrote the words and Saul
wrote the music to their first hit, Rhythm is Our Business for bandleader, Jimmie Lunceford. Then Until the
Real Thing Comes Along for Andy Kirk and the jazz classic, Shoe Shine Boy, performed by Count Basie,
Louis Armstrong, the Mills Brothers, even Bing Crosby. The Andrews Sisters were lucky to know Sammy,
too. It was his adaptation of the Yiddish song, Bei Mir Bist Du Schön that became their signature.
Frank Sinatra's many signature titles were Sammy Cahn’s words, too (with Jimmy Van Heusen’s music): All
the Way (won an Oscar in 1957), My Kind of Town, and Grammy Award-winning September of My Years.
As part of the personal song-writing team for Mr. Sinatra, Sammy also wrote Love and Marriage, The
Second Time Around, High Hopes (another Oscar winner in 1959) and The Tender Trap.
If you still haven’t found a song that makes you care, try these additional Oscar winners by Sammy Cahn:
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954) and Call Me Irresponsible (1963). He composed 22 other songs that were nominated but didn’t win the gold statue!
Want to know more? Pick up the autobiography of the talented Sammy Cahn, written in 1974, I Should Care.
John (Milton) Cage lived from 1912 until 1992. He was an American composer who was born in Los Angeles, California, USA. He studied with a number of teachers including
Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg, who helped provoke his avant-garde proclivities. He began
writing all-percussion pieces in the 1930s and proclaimed the use of noise as the next musical
horizon; in 1938 he introduced the "prepared piano," an instrument whose sound is radically modified
by various objects placed on the strings. While writing much for prepared piano in the 1940s, notably
the Sonatas and Interludes, he also produced some pioneering electronic music. Among the most
widely influential elements of his thought was the idea of indeterminacy, music that is not strictly
controlled, as seen in his 1951 Landscape No. 4 for twelve radios - the sound of which depends on
what happens to be on the air. Later works, especially the notorious 4'33" (1954), involve complete
silence. He continued to develop such concepts and he also produced several quirky, engaging books
beginning with the 1961 Silence. In his later years he was widely acclaimed as one of the more
original of American artists.
John R. Cash was born Feb. 26, 1932, in Kingsland, Ark., one of seven children. When he was 12, his 14-year-old brother and hero, Jack, died after an accident while sawing oak trees into fence posts. The tragedy had a lasting impact on Cash, and he later pointed to it as a possible reason his music was frequently melancholy.
He worked as a custodian and enlisted in the Air Force, learning guitar while stationed in Germany, before launching his music career after his 1954 discharge.
"All through the Air Force, I was so lonely for those three years," Cash told The Associated Press during a 1996 interview. "If I couldn't have sung all those old country songs, I don't think I could have made it."
Cash launched his career in Memphis, performing on radio station KWEM. He auditioned with Sun Records, ultimately recording the single Hey Porter, which became a hit.
Folsom Prison Blues, went to No. 4 on the country charts in 1956, and featured Cash's most famous couplet: "I shot a man in Reno/ just to watch him die."
Cash recorded theme albums celebrating the railroads and the Old West, and decrying the mistreatment of American Indians. Two of his most popular albums were recorded live at prisons. Along the way he notched 14 No. 1 country music hits.
Because of Cash's frequent performances in prisons and his rowdy lifestyle early in his career, many people wrongly thought he had served prison time. He never did, though he battled addictions to pills on and off throughout his life.
He blamed fame for his vulnerability to drug addiction.
"When I was a kid, I always knew I'd sing on the radio someday. I never thought about fame until it started happening to me," he said in 1988. "Then it was hard to handle. That's why I turned to pills."
He credited June Carter Cash, whom he married in 1968, with helping him stay off drugs, though he had several relapses over the years and was treated at the Betty Ford Center in California in 1984.
June Carter Cash was the daughter of country music great Mother Maybelle Carter, and the mother of singer Carlene Carter, whose father was country singer Carl Smith. Together, June Carter and Cash had one child, John Carter Cash. He is a musician and producer.
Singer Roseanne Cash is Johnny Cash's daughter from his first marriage, to Vivian Liberto. Their other three children were Kathleen, Cindy and Tara. They divorced in 1966.
In March 1998, Cash made headlines when his California-based record company, American Recordings, took out an advertisement in the music trade magazine Billboard. The full-page ad celebrated Cash's 1998 Grammy award for best country album for "Unchained." The ad showed an enraged-looking Cash in his younger years making an obscene gesture to sarcastically illustrate his thanks to country radio stations and "the country music establishment in Nashville," which he felt had unfairly cast him aside.
Jennings, a close friend, once said of Cash: "He's been like a brother to me. He's one of the greatest people in the world."
Cash once credited his mother, Carrie Rivers Cash, with encouraging him to pursue a singing career.
"My mother told me to keep on singing, and that kept me working through the cotton fields. She said God has his hand on you. You'll be singing for the world someday."
Dozens of hit records like Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line, and Sunday Morning Coming Down defined Cash's persona: a haunted, dignified, resilient spokesman for the working man and downtrodden.
Cash's deeply lined face fit well with his unsteady voice, which was limited in range but used to great effect to sing about prisoners, heartaches, and tales of everyday life. He wrote much of his own material, and was among the first to record the songs of Bob Dylan and Kris Kristofferson.
One Piece at a Time was about an assembly line worker who built a car out of parts stolen from his factory. A Boy Named Sue was a comical story of a father who gives his son a girl's name to make him tough. The Ballad of Ira Hayes told of the drunken death of an American Indian soldier who helped raise the American flag at Iwo Jima during World War II, but returned to harsh racism in America.
Cash said in his 1997 autobiography "Cash" that he tried to speak for "voices that were ignored or even suppressed in the entertainment media, not to mention the political and educational establishments."
Cash's career spanned generations, with each finding something of value in his simple records, many of which used his trademark rockabilly rhythm.
Cash was a peer of Elvis Presley when rock 'n' roll was born in Memphis in the 1950s, and he scored hits like Cry! Cry! Cry! during that era. He had a longtime friendship and recorded with Dylan, who has cited Cash as a major influence.
He won 11 Grammys - most recently in 2003, when Give My Love To Rose earned him honors as best male country vocal performance - and numerous Country Music Association awards. He was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1980 and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
His second wife, June Carter Cash, and daughter Roseanne Cash also were successful singers. June Carter Cash, who co-wrote Cash's hit Ring of Fire and partnered with her husband in hits such as Jackson, died in May 2003.
The late 1960s and '70s were Cash's peak commercial years, and he was host of his own ABC variety show from 1969-71. In later years, he was part of the Highwayman supergroup with Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.
In the 1990s, he found a new artistic life recording with rap and hard rock producer Rick Rubin on the label American Recordings. And he was back on the charts with the 2002 album "American IV: The Man Comes Around."
Most recently, Cash was recognized for his cover of the Nine Inch Nails song Hurt with seven nominations at the August 2003 MTV Video Music Awards. He had hoped to attend the event but couldn't because of his hospital stay. The video won for best cinematography.
He also wrote books including two autobiographies, and acted in films and television shows.
In his 1971 hit Man in Black, Cash said his black clothing symbolized the downtrodden people in the world. Cash had been "The Man in Black" since he joined the Grand Ole Opry at age 25.
"Everybody was wearing rhinestones, all those sparkle clothes and cowboy boots," he said in 1986. "I decided to wear a black shirt and pants and see if I could get by with it. I did and I've worn black clothes ever since."
Johnny Cash, '"The Man in Black" who became a towering figure in American music with such hits as Folsom Prison Blues, I Walk the Line, and A Boy Named Sue, died Friday, September 12, 2003. He was 71.
"Johnny died due to complications from diabetes, which resulted in respiratory failure," Cash's manager, Lou Robin, said in a statement issued by Baptist Hospital in Nashville.''
Cash had battled a disease of the nervous system, autonomic neuropathy, and pneumonia in recent years.
Cash lived in Hendersonville, Tenn., just outside of Nashville. He also had a home in Jamaica.
Enrico Caruso was a tenor opera singer who lived from 1873 until 1921. His best known roles are Canio in Pagliacci, Rodolfo in La Bohème. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in Rigoletto. He sang nearly 70 roles and appeared in nearly every country of Europe and North and South America. His final performance was La Juive at the Met in 1920.
Ray Charles (Robinson) is a singer, pianist, composer who was born in Albany, Ga in 1930. He lost his sight (from glaucoma) when he was six
and attended a school for the blind where he learned to read and write music in braille and play piano
and organ. Orphaned at age 15, he left school and began playing music to earn a living, moving to
Seattle, Wash., in 1947. Dropping his last name, he performed at clubs in the smooth lounge-swing
style of Nat "King" Cole. After some hits on Swing Time Records, he switched to Atlantic Records
in 1952 and began to develop a rougher blues and gospel style. For New Orleans bluesman, Guitar
Slim, he arranged and played piano on "The Things I Used To Do" (1953); the record sold a million
copies. He went on to record his own "I've Got a Woman" in 1955 with an arrangement of horns,
gospel-style piano, and impassioned vocals that led to the gospel-pop and soul music of the 1960s and
to his hit "What'd I Say" (1959). Possessing a multifaceted talent, he recorded with jazz vibist Milt
Jackson, made a country and western album that sold 3 million copies (1962), and continued to
release a variety of pop hits, Broadway standards, and blues, gospel, and jazz albums. A major
influence on popular black music during his early years, he gradually reached out to influence both
white musicians and audiences. And although he had been convicted of using drugs in the 1950s, he
lived to see the day when he was so acceptable to mainstream Americans that he became virtually
the chief image for promoting Pepsi-Cola and he was asked to perform at many national patriotic
and political events.
Luigi Cherubini lived from 1760 until 1842.
The Italian composer Cherubini came to occupy a dominant
position in French musical life. He was employed at the
Conservatoire in Paris on its foundation and from 1822 was
director of the institution, retaining this position until the year of his death. His works include
compositions for the stage, the church and for political purposes, a requirement of the turbulent
Cherubini wrote some 30 operas and of these Les deux journées, now seldom heard, had
influence on Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio. The opera Médée, first staged in Paris in 1797,
remains in occasional repertoire, with the aria Ah, nos peines, providing a popular soprano
operatic recital item.
Frederic Chopin lived between 1810 and 1849. He is considered to be a romantic composer. He was born in Poland, the son of a French father and Polish mother.Chopin left his native Poland at the age of only 21 to work in France, but the music he wrote was inspired by his home country, especially its formal dance, the polonaise. In Paris, Chopin began his liaison with George Sand and a colorful circle of literary and artistic friends the likes of Victor Hugo, Liszt, Balzac, and Dumas.
Chopin's musical genius opened for him the best circles of Polish society and his compositions include a great many mazurkas, ballades, waltzes and polonaises, which express the national character of Poland. He was fiercely proud of being a Pole. In his twenties he adopted Paris as his home, although he always remained the strongest of Polish nationalists, almost militant in his passions.
Many of Chopin's works, including the "Revolutionary Étude" portray his rage over the Russian treatment of his country.
Chopin's own playing was very delicate and deliberate and he wrote only for the piano.
The Chopin Nocturnes have a power to move the night. The Chopin "Revolutionary Étude" had the power to move a nation. Frederic Chopin was a poet, a patriot, and a romantic and his piano compositions were capable of reflecting great tranquility, inexpressible melancholy, as well as rage and fierce indignation.
Chopin preferred the minor key and in beauty of expression and harmony he remains the unrivaled master of the tender tones. The last eleven years of Chopin's life were frail and melancholy. He died in Paris, of consumption (tuberculosis) at the age of 39. Some of Chopin's most well-known compositions include Fantaisie-Impromptu, The Complete Nocturnes; Berceuse; Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Minor; Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor ("Funeral March"); Polonaise in A Flat, Opus 53; Polonaise in A, Opus 40, #1; Mazurkas #7 and #33, Etude #10, Waltzes # 18 and 64, and Prelude #28.
Boris Christoff lived from 1914 until 1993. He was a bass-baritone who was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He studied law in Sofia, then studied singing in Rome
and Salzburg. His debut recital was in Rome in 1946. He sang at La Scala in Milan in 1947, at
Covent Garden in 1949, and from 1956 in the USA.
Muzio Clementi lived from 1752 until 1832. He was a composer and pianist who born in Rome. In 1766 he was brought to England, where he conducted
the Italian Opera in London (1777--80), toured as a virtuoso pianist (1781), and went into the
piano-manufacturing business. He wrote the Gradus ad Parnassum from 1817 to 1826, a piano method on which
subsequent piano methods have been based. He composed mainly piano and chamber music.
Eric Coates lived from 1886 until 1957 and was the greatest British composer of light music in the 20th century,
though his education never looked to be leading him in that direction. He was born in the
midlands of England, in the county of Nottinghamshire, in 1886. He studied at the Royal
Academy of Music in London, taking viola with the legendary Lionel Tertis, and composition
with Frederick Corder. But it was as a violist that he earned his living, joining the famous
Queen's Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood. From 1913 to 1919 he was principal viola, and
a list of first British performances by that orchestra would indicate that he came into contact with
all the most avant garde music of his day. Yet it was to be in the field of light music that he was
to become famous.
It was the time of the radio, the BBC Light Programme with its demands for new music, and the
need to brighten the country after the First World War, and above all it was the day of the
'bright young thing'. It was the perfect scene for a composer who could produce a seemingly
endless stream of easily memorable melodies. A publishing house commissioned him to write a
major light music work for orchestra each year, while they were happy to take anything from him
including his large output of songs.
Orchestras demanded that he conduct his own music with them, and he started a second career
as a conductor of light music including many appearances with the BBC Theatre Orchestra. His
music spoke to all generations, from those looking for nostalgia, to the very young, with his
phantasies, 'Cinderella' and 'The Three Bears'. He produced one major success after another,
his music in the war years valuable to the morale of the nation, and included the stirring march for
the Eighth Army to mark their Alamein victory in 1942 under General Montgomery.
Though he continued conducting his own music after the war, including definitive recordings of
much of his output, his compositional career seemingly burned out. Then in a sudden flurry of
activity he produced a number of fine works in his last years. That period included the
Dambusters March for the film on that theme, the first time he succumbed to the many film music
offers made to him.
He had so many successes, and his music became known to just about everyone in the UK, that
it was thought he had a considerable output, but apart from his songs, it numbered less than fifty.
Without doubt it was his training in classical music, and the years in the orchestra, that enabled
him to write so fluently and so colourfully.
Sleepy Lagoon dates from 1930, but was not a huge success until an American dance orchestra
turned it into a slow foxtrot. That led to the work being chosen for the opening music to the
longest running radio show, Desert Island Discs, which started in 1948 and is still broadcast 50
years later. It remains probably the best known melody in the UK.
Two years later, among a number of short pieces written at this time, comes the very relaxed,
Lazy Nights. Springtime Suite dates from 1937, and though its three movements never quite
achieved the success of his other suites, it is one of his most skilfully constructed works. The
previous year Coates met a commission from a virtuoso saxophonist for a
new work. The brilliant Saxo-Rhapsody was the result. Composed in less than a month, its
jaunty and jolly atmosphere so perfectly captured the nature of the instrument, while providing
the soloist with a piece of unabashed showmanship.
The waltz was still the ballroom favourite, and Coates provided a number of such works, though
truth to tell, they were more often played as an orchestral work than for dancing. Footlights
dates from 1939, the same year that saw the little orchestral romance, Last Love.
Four Ways Suite dates from 1925, Coates looking in four directions, north, south, east and
west. The north is represented by Scotland; the second movement has a distinct Italian flavour;
China is the east, and flying in the face of the mood among British musicians at that time, it is jazz
for the West. The disc ends with Coates' last composition, High Flight, intended for a Warwick film of 1957.
George M. (Michael) Cohan was an
actor, singer, composer os songs such as Over There, The Yankee Doodle Boy, Give My Regards to Broadway, Mary’s a
Grand Old Name, You’re a Grand Old Flag and Harrigan. He was the subject of movie called Yankee Doodle Dandy, as well as a
Broadway show named George M!
Nat King Cole lived from 1917 until 1965. He was born Nathaniel Adams Coles in
Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Chicago. Cole was a jazz pianist, singer, bandleader,for the King Cole Trio, a songwriter who wrote Straighten Up and Fly Right, an actor in St. Louis Blues, the first black entertainer to host a national TV show and the father of singer Natalie Cole.
His daughter, Natalie, became a
pop music star with many hits in the 1990s - including an album of standards made popular by her father: "Mona Lisa", "For
Sentimental Reasons", "Nature Boy", "Too Young" and "Unforgettable". With modern recording technology, she was able to
record a duet with her father’s voice.
His first recording was in 1936. Although Cole’s commercial success as a pop artist was phenomenal, it unfortunately came with
the sacrifice of his exemplary and extremely influential talents as a jazz pianist. Before he turned
full-time to singing, he had already influenced the likes of Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, and Ray
Charles with his intricate and innovative piano style and piano/guitar/bass lineup.
Cole's songs included: Mona Lisa, Too Young, Unforgettable, Pretend, Ballerina, Ramblin’ Rose and The Christmas Song
Cole passed away Feb 15, 1965 and was posthumously awarded a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1990.
Born Seymour Kaufman of immigrant East European Jewish parents in the Bronx, Coleman's first major hit was Wildcat, the 1960 musical about wildcat oil drilling that starred Lucille Ball (news) and featured the classic Hey Look Me Over. His later hits included City of Angels and Barnum.
Coleman was a self-taught jazz pianist whose career started at the age of 7 when he played a recital at Carnegie Hall.
Songs such as Witchcraft and The Best is Yet to Come were made popular by Sinatra, while another longtime collaborator was screenwriter and lyricist Adolph Green, best known for 1950s classic Singin' in the Rain.
Coleman also worked closely with Shirley MacLaine, conceiving and co-writing her television special If My Friends Could See Me Now and creating the musical Gypsy in My Soul in 1976 that won Emmy awards for both Coleman and MacLaine.
He won three Tony Awards (news - web sites) as well as several Grammys and Emmys and an Oscar nomination for the music for the 1969 film Sweet Charity. which also starred MacLaine.
Ornette Coleman is a jazz musician, saxophonist and composer. He was born in 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas. His
experiments in free-form improvisation sharply divided the jazz establishment upon his emergence in
1959. Largely self-taught, he played in rhythm-and-blues bands before settling in Los Angeles in
1951, where he gradually formed a quartet of musicians who were receptive to his unorthodox ideas.
He first recorded in 1958 and made his New York debut the following year. He made a series of
important recordings between 1959 and 1961 that shaped the direction of jazz for the next twenty years. A
sporadic performing artist after the early 1960s, he occasionally led both a conventional jazz quartet
and the rock band Prime Time, but turned increasingly to composition, producing several works for
symphony orchestra in accordance with his "harmolodic theory."
Henry Dixon Cowell lived from 1897 until 1965. He was a composer who was born in Menlo Park, California. Cowell was largely self-taught as pianist and composer. In his teens
he gravitated to radical musical experiments including his trademark use of tone-cluster harmony.
From the 1920s he pursued an international career as composer, concert promoter, and pianist,
specializing in his own and others' "ultra-modern" music; he also taught and wrote books including
the 1919 New Musical Resources, and in 1927 founded the historic New Music Quarterly. In his
own music, progressive ideas appear alongside traditional material; his works include 20
Xavier Cugat lived from 1900 until 1990. He was a violinist and bandleader who was born in Barcelona, Spain and raised in Cuba. He first became popular in the
United States in the 1920s with his tango orchestra; in the 1930s he introduced other Latin dance
rhythms including the Cuban rumba. In the 1940s he appeared in many musical films, such as You
Were Never Lovelier (1942). He promoted the popularity of Latin music in the United States.
Carl Czerny was an Austrian composer, teacher, and pianist of Czech origin whose vast musical production amounted to over a thousand works. His books of studies for the piano are still widely used in piano teaching.