JOE BLITMAN'S
FASHION & CELEBRITY DOLLS
2021 HOLIDAY ADVENT CALENDAR
DAY 11




16 Dartmouth Drive
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
323-953-6490

 
joeblitman@aol.com





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SAMMY CAHN

1913-1993




Awards aren’t the only or the best way to measure a songwriter’s career, but sometimes a statistic is so staggering, it deserves to be in the lead paragraph. 

In a 34-year period (1943-1976), lyricist Sammy Cahn received 26 Oscar nominations for Best Song -- and won the award four times.

No one has ever won more Oscars for Best Song:

"Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954)





"All the Way" (1957)




"High Hopes" (1959)





and "Call Me Irresponsible" (1963)
 




You would call us irresponsible if we didn't take this moment to show you the 11 doll-related items from our website that we are featuring for sale today:




AUDREY HEPBURN
in "PINK PRINCESS"
from "BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S"
(1999)
NRFB
$49.00
SOLD - SORRY


BEACH UMBRELLA
WITH HEAVY METAL BASE
(DOLL-SIZED)
2021 BARBIE CONVENTION GIFT
(2021)
NEW/MINT
$24.99




ELLA FITZGERALD
JAZZ SINGER
INSPIRING WOMEN SERIES
(2020)
NRFB
$24.99




FRATERNITY DANCE
(1965)
Near Mint & Complete
$195.00


SILVER-BROWNETTE,
LONG-HAIR
HIGH-COLOR

AMERICAN GIRL BARBIE
(1966)
$895.00


VICTORY DANCE
(1964)
Near Mint & Complete
$95.00

SOLD - SORRY


GOLDEN DREAM BARBIE
(1980)
$69.99

SOLD - SORRY


IT'S COLD OUTSIDE
Red Version
(1964)
Near Mint & Complete
$59.00

SOLD - SORRY


GODDESS OF SPRING BARBIE
(2000)
$59.99


PINK SPARKLE
(1967)
Near Mint & Complete
$99.00


GIFT CERTIFICATES
IN ANY AMOUNT YOU WANT





Sammy Cahn (nee Cohen) started out in his teens playing piano in a Dixieland band,
but by his early 20’s, he and his writing partner, Saul Chaplin,





segued into lyric writing and struck gold. 

In 1937, the two crafted English lyrics for a popular Yiddish song called “Bei Mir Bistu Shein" ("To Me, You’re Beautiful").



The song was written by Jacob Jacobs (lyrics) and Sholom Secunda (music) for a 1932 Yiddish language musical comedy, "I Would If I Could."

Cahn and Chaplin rewrote the song with lyrics and rhythms more typical of swing music.





The song was recorded by the then-unknown Andrews Sisters and very quickly became a global phenomenon.




Several years later, Bette Midler did her version:


And here it is, performed by the retro group Hot Sardines:



Although Sammy Cahn looked like one of those 90 lb. weaklings who gets sand kicked in his face at the beach,
he was actually a wiseguy who liked to mouth off. 

When asked which came first -- the music or the words -- he sarcastically replied:  “The call.”


During the 40’s, he made a musical connection with Frank Sinatra
and became the unofficial “House Composer” for Sinatra -- a position he’d hold for some 30 years. 



He first wrote a string of Sinatra hits with composer Jule Styne,





perhaps none more beautiful than “Time After Time," sung here by Nancy LaMott:

As in “Time After Time," Cahn often ended his songs “BIG”  -- with words sung emphatically.  He called this a “Vaudeville Finish.” 

Here's a story Cahn liked to tell:

One day, he and Styne were sitting around trying out different melodies for a song. 

Styne played something on the piano, and Cahn said, “It seems to me I’ve heard that song before.” 

Styne took great umbrage and said, “That's impossible!  I just made it up!” 

Cahn said, “No.  I think that’s the right lyric for that piece of music.” 

And, having the first line, according to him, the rest of the song quickly wrote itself. 

You can believe Cahn's story or not.  The choice is yours. 

Here’s Patti Page to help you make up your mind:




Back in the 1940’s and 50’s, there was an unofficial hierarchy in the world of songwriters. 

Those with the least prestige were the ones who toiled writing songs they hoped would make it to The Hit Parade (think Top 40). 

On the middle rung of the ladder were those who wrote songs for Hollywood movies. 

At the top of the heap were those who wrote for Broadway. 

Most successful Hollywood movie songwriters looked longingly East toward Broadway. 

Styne and Cahn tried their luck in 1947 with a show called “High Button Shoes.” 




The musical was a big hit, running almost two years. 

And there was a breakout song - a polka titled “Poppa Won’t You Dance With Me” -- performed in the show by the fabulous Nanette Fabray.

If you’re a baby boomer, you probably remember the actress Gale Storm from the “My Little Margie” and “Oh, Susannah!” TV series.




Here’s Gale Storm giving her all to “Poppa, Won’t You Dance With Me”:



That same year, Cahn was instrumental in getting Doris Day a screen test with director Michael Curtiz for the movie “Romance on the High Seas.” 




Day had been a vocalist for several bands, most notably Bob Crosby and Les Brown, before going solo in 1947.





Curtiz cast her in the part, putting Doris under personal contract.  He hired Cahn and Styne to write the movie's score. 

Cahn and Styne --  and Day -- made magic with: 



13 years later,  Doris Day was the Oscar presenter when Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen won the Academy Award for Best Song with “High Hopes”:







Most of Cahn’s songs in the 1950’s were for Sinatra, but one sneaked through into the Top 10 without Frank. 

It hit #4 in 1954 with Dinah Washington:



And #2 in 1955 with the De Castro Sisters:



And here it is again, as interpreted by James Taylor on his 2020 release, "American Standard":




OK, here’s one for Sinatra from 1955 -- “The Tender Trap.” 



This is the opening of the movie of the same name filmed against the outdoor painted blue sky backdrop on the MGM lot (every lot had a painted blue sky backdrop):
 



Also in 1955, Cahn and Van Huesen wrote a few songs for Sinatra to sing in a TV version of Thornton Wilder’s play “Our Town.”
 




Love and Marriage” caught on right away, and -- thanks to “Married With Children” -- it has never gone out of style:



 
 


The last of Cahn’s Oscars was for “Call Me Irresponsible.”

Jackie Gleason introduced it in the film “Papa’s Delicate Condition,”




but Sinatra made it his own shortly thereafter. 

We’re gonna take a break from Sinatra and give you Michael Buble’s rendition instead:
 
 
 


Understandably, every songwriter wants to write a Christmas perennial.  (For one thing, it brings in beaucoup de bucks year after year.) 

Here's Cahn's and Styne's little holiday annuity, as sung by Amy Grant and Marc Martel:



And here, just because it's fabulous, is Amy Winehouse's version of "Teach Me Tonight":









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