Sammy Cahn

Sammy Cahn

Excerpt from Songwriter Magazine

“The producer of Three Coins In The Fountain asked Jule Styne and me if we could write a title song for that film and I told him we could write a song called Eh if we knew what the picture was about. I asked if we could see it. He told us we couldn’t – no script – no book. Three girls go to Rome, throw coins in the fountain, and hope to find love. And he leaves us. That was 2 P.M.

“I wrote the first verse in a matter of minutes and Styne produced a melody for it 20 minutes later which we agreed was the right kind of sound for a picture such as had been described to us in 25 words or less. That meant we were 75% through because the theme repeated three times. But Styne pleaded for a bridge and after much deliberation, I came up with which one will the fountain bless? Which one will the fountain bless?

“Styne couldn’t believe it. He looked at me as if he was hoping I was trying to put him on. 'The same line twice?’ he asked. Finally, he went to the piano and pounded out the same melodic line twice and I said, ‘That stinks!’ He said, 'Of course it stinks. The same line twice?’ Finally he changed the tune to what most people are now familiar with.

 

(Eb, Eb,D,C,Bb,C,Bb,Eb,Eb,F,Eb,Db,Cb,Bb)

 “I take pride in the speed with which I write and my dependability. If I tell you I’ll have a song, I’ll get it to you when promised. Buddy De Silva, one of the most incredible songwriters that every lived, once said to me, ‘Sammy, it’s not given to all of us to be the most talented, but it is given to all of us to be disciplined, and prompt.’ Many times I've gotten jobs over men with far superior talents but who were undependable.

Also in the issue:

  • From A Little Corn Grows a Mighty Tree! – An interview with Buddy Killen, the publisher of Roger Miller, Bill Anderson, and Dolly Parton for starters.
  • Nashville Songwriter’s Association’s Dick Glasser writes on Quality not Quantity.
  • AGAC’s Karen Sherry’s Songwriter’s Haven.
  • A Reason For Writing by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary.