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Sammy Fain


born Samuel Feinberg - 17 June, 1902; Died California 6 December, 1989

Sammy FainSammy Fain was, for over 40 years, a prolific composer for stage and screen. A self-taught pianist, as a schoolboy he plagued New York publishers with his songs. His early jobs were working for a music publisher and as a singer-pianist for radio and vaudeville. His first published song, with a lyric by Irving Mills and Al Dubin was "Nobody Knows What a Red-Haired Mamma Can Do". It was recorded by Sophie Tucker. From 1926 until 1942, his main collaborator was Irving Kahal and together they penned many hit songs. His Broadway credits included Everybody's Welcome, Right This Way and Hellzapoppin', reputedly the most popular musical of the 1930s, Flahooley, Ankles Aweigh, Christine and Something More.

Although he seldom wrote complete film scores, between 1930 and 1958 Fain wrote for more than 30 movies. His most successful period was in the 1950s but he continued composing for the silver screen into the 70s. In 1953, in collaboration with Paul Francis Webster, , he won his first Academy Award for the song "Secret Love" from their score to the film Calamity Jane (1953). His second Oscar was for the title song for the film Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1955).

In 1971 he was voted in the Songwriters' Hall of Fame and served on the board of directors of ASCAP from 1979 until his death in California on 6th December, 1989.