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September 24: Carl Sigman, American Songwriter

September 24, 2013

Songwriter Carl Sigman, who collaborated as a lyricist with Duke Ellington, Bob Hilliard, Glen Miller, and other musical greats to create such songs as “Ebb Tide,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” “What Now My Love,” “It’s All in the Game,” “A Day in the Life of a Fool,” and “Where Do I Begin?” (the theme for the movie Love Story), was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1909. Trained as a lawyer, he was convinced by his friend Johnny Mercer to take up songwriting instead. Sigman was a Bronze Star soldier in Africa during World War II. He had one show on Broadway, Angel in the Wings, which ran for almost a year and launched Elaine Stritch’s career. Sigman’s compositions were sung by virtually every major star, including Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Brenda Lee (in photo), Elvis Presley, Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, and Andy Williams. He also wrote the theme song to the “Robin Hood” television show (“feared by the bad, loved by the good”). Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972, Sigman died at 91 in 2000.

With the advent of rock and roll, “the sentimental song became a rarity rather than a common occurrence.” —Carl Sigman