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The Sammy Film Music Awards



The 28th Annual Sammy Film Music Awards
for 2015
will be announced
on 14 February 2016



These awards are named in honor of
lyricist, Sammy Cahn (1913-1993),
who received 4 Oscars and 1 Emmy,
and was Oscar nominated 26 times,
more than any other songwriter.

The Sammy Film Music Awards (SFMA) have no connection to any other awards (BAFTA, Golden Globes, Oscars), and are based on the overall quality of the soundtrack or compilation release.  How the music is used in the film is also considered but is not the only factor in the final choice. 

They are announced each year for the best (and sometimes also the most overrated) film music. The focus is on vintage film scores but new film scores and movie songs are also sometimes chosen for their excellence.

Now in their 28th year, the Sammys are the longest running awards devoted exclusively to film music on CDs or downloads.


"What really makes the Sammy Awards worth checking out is the irregular addition of irreverent and praiseworthy categories."
--Timothy Sexton (read the full story - click here)



These awards have been chosen each year
by Roger Hall, a member of the International Film Music Critics Association,
author of the popular book, A GUIDE TO FILM MUSIC,
and Managing Editor of the long-running e-zine, Film Music Review





Click on these links to read more on this page:

Words by Sammy Cahn

CD: It's Magic - 100th Birthday Celebration of Sammy Cahn

CD: Oscar Meets Sammy - Film Music Awards On Radio

Sammy Cahn and His Four Oscars

Highest Number of Sammy Awards

Next Sammy Film Music Awards

Previous Sammy Awards

Best Album Producers

Lifetime Achievement Award (2005): Elmer Bernstein

International Film Music Critics Association Awards




Words By Sammy Cahn

Many of Sammy's popular movie songs are included in this excellent collection --

The New Sammy Cahn Songbook

Read Sammy's frank and witty autobiography --

I Should Care: The Sammy Cahn Story

I Should Care: The Sammy Cahn Story




A Gala 100th birthday CD of Sammy Cahn's songs,
recorded live in concert by an outstanding
ensemble of singers with jazz combo accompaniment

Click here


See also

Sammy Cahn Centennial Tibute


Please Help Support The Sammy Film Music Awards!

Now available is a enjoyable non-commercial CD with over an hour of music and commentary featuring Oscar and Sammy Award-winning film music only available here for a donation to help support the annual film music awards.

This CD features film music critic, Roger Hall, as guest on several radio programs
in the Boston, Massachusetts area

Among the music heard on this CD are by composers -- Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Franz Waxman, John Barry, and John Williams.

There is also a lively radio interview with Oscar-winning lyricist, Sammy Cahn, and all his Oscar-winning songs.

To receive the CD, Oscar Meets Sammy - Film Music Awards On Radio
make a donation of $15 or more in the USA or $25 or more in other countries to help support the Sammy Awards.

Your donation is payable to the owner of this website, PineTree Productions,
through safe and secure PayPal. Shipping cost is included.


Click on this button to




After you have made your donation,
send an e-mail with the CD title and
your mailing address to:

Oscar Meets Sammy

Thank you!





Sammy Cahn and His Four Oscars



Sammy Cahn was Oscar nominated more than any other songwriter –
26 times in all between 1942 and 1973. He has also won 4 Oscars and 1 Emmy, more than any other songwriter of his generation.  

The first Sammy Awards were chosen for best score and song of 1988 – the year of Sammy Cahn’s 75th birthday.  When he was notified, Sammy said he was “flattered and honored" to have them named after him. He certainly deserved the honor.

Sammy received 4 Oscars for his lyrics:


  • "Three Coins in the Fountain" (1954) from
    THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN -- music by Jule Styne
  • "All The Way" from THE JOKER IS WILD (1957) --
    music by James Van Heusen
  • "High Hopes" from A HOLE IN THE HEAD (1959) --
    music by James Van Heusen
  • "Call Me Irresponsible" from PAPA'S DELICATE CONDITION (1963) -- music by James Van Heusen

Sammy also received an Emmy for the song, "Love and Marriage" from the TV production of OUR TOWN.

All five of these songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra, a longtime friend and admirer of Sammy's lyrics.

Highest Number of Sammy Awards

John Williams (12 Sammy Film Music Awards)

2014: EMPIRE OF THE SUN (expanded edition)
1995: "Moonligt" (lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman) - from SABRINA
1990: "Somewhere In My Memory" (lyrics by Leslie Bricusse) from HOME ALONE

See also: John Williams: A Birthday Tribute


5 Sammy Film Music Awards for

Alexandre Desplat
[2008. 2010, 2012 (2), 2014]


4 Sammy Film Music Awards each for these composers,

James Newton Howard
[1995, 2002, 2004, 2007]

Alan Menken
[1989, 1991 (2), 1992]

Randy Newman
[1999, 2000, 2003, 2006]


See the complete list of Sammy Film Music Awards

Click here




Music Masters:
Fifteen Film Composers





The 28th Annual Sammy Film Music Awards (SFMA)
will be announced here on

14 February 2016



Previous Sammy Film Music Awards

The 27th Annual Sammy Film Music Awards for 2014

26th Anniversary Sammys for 2013

25th Anniversary Sammys for 2012

24th Annual Sammys For 2011

23rd Annual Sammys For 2010

22nd Annual Sammy Awards For 2009

21st Annual Sammy Awards For 2008

20th Annual Sammys For 2007

19th Annual Sammy Awards For 2006

18th Annual Sammys For 2005



The Sammy Film Music Awards

See the complete list

click here


Best Album Producers

Anna Bonn, William Stromberg, John Morgan (Special Preservation Award)
5 Sammy Awards = 2007, 2008, 2010 (2 awards), 2012

Douglass Fake (Special Preservation Award)
5 Sammy Awards = 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014 (2 awards)


James Fitzpatrick (Special Preservation Award)
5 Sammy Awards = 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012


Lukas Kendall
4 Sammy Awards = 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012



Robert Townson

3 Sammy Awards = 2008, 2011, 2012


Nick Redman
2 Sammy Awards = 2012




Lifetime Achievement Award (2005)

Elmer Bernstein,
4 April 1922 - 18 August 2004

I think that the tide running against good music is so strong that none of us who care are surprised or outraged any more when we hear dumb music accompanying a film...Film has become, with some exceptions, a special effects medium. Films reflect the generally shoddy standards of present-day society. It's a junk culture, and people buy junk...generally speaking, film has not advanced in terms of taste and intelligence, and that makes it tough for music.

--Elmer Bernstein interviewed by Tony Thomas, quoted in Music for the Movies, 2nd edition, 1997

For me, he was one of the composers in the Great Film Composer Triad of the past five decades. The composers who make up this triad are: Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. All three composers began their composing for TV or movies back in the 1950s.  Two of them passed on in 2004: Elmer Bernstein and Jerry Goldsmith. And another major film composer, David Raksin, also died that year.

In the case of Elmer Bernstein this was especially sad for me because his music was some of the first I recognized back in the 1950s.  

One of his early scores was for ROBOT MONSTER in 1953, now considered one of the worst films ever made. I saw it as a teenager and still remember it as a "guilty pleasure."  I wrote about first watching this film on late night TV and what a lasting impression the score made on me.  My story was written as an 80th birthday tribute to Elmer.

You can read it at the official website:

Between 1951 and 2002, Elmer composed over 200 scores for films and TV programs.  

Here are some of his great film scores from 1955 to 1965:






HAWAII (1965)


But the score that Elmer picked as his favorite was:  


I agree with his choice.   This has one of the simplest and most delicate film scores ever composed.  It's a masterpiece of subtle film scoring.I listed it in the Top Ten of 20th Century Film Scores in the book, A Guide to Film Music.

Elmer Bernstein had 14 Oscar nominations and strangely he received his only Oscar for his adapted score to a musical, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE   in 1967. He should have received at least several more Oscars for such landmark scores as THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Later, he composed scores for  "Saturday Night Live" alumni comedies like TRADING PLACES (1983) and GHOSTBUSTERS (1984).

He also wrote more serious subject scores, such as for MY LEFT FOOT (1989)and THE GRIFTERS (1990).

Even though he was probably best known for his rugged outdoor western music, like the John Wayne westerns, Elmer's ability to compose a subtle score was always evident, as in THE AGE OF INNOCENCE.

His last major score was FAR FROM HEAVEN, which I chose for The Sammy Award as Best Score of 2002. It was fortunate that he had the opportunity to close out his career with such a brilliant film score.


-- Roger Hall, The Sammy Film Music Awards


See the other names for the Lifetime Achievement Awards -- click here




The Sammy Film Music Awards have been mentioned at these websites:

Cinema Retro

Elmer Bernstein - The Official Site

Film Score Monthly

John Williams Fan Network

Tribute Film Classics

Wikipedia (Sammy Cahn)


If you have a website and would like to list the Sammy Film Music Awards, write to:




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