Film Music Review







28th Annual Sammy Film Music Awards



The Sammy Film Music Awards (SFMA) are the longest-running awards chosen exclusively for film music recordings. They are named in honor of Sammy ("High Hopes") Cahn (1913-1993), the movie lyricist who received 4 Oscars and 1 Emmy Award.


Since 1988, the Sammy Film Music Awards have been chosen for their Excellence by Roger Hall, a member of the International Film Music Critics Association, author of the popular book, A GUIDE TO FILM MUSIC (now in its 6th edition),
and Managing Editor of the long-running
Online magazine, Film Music Review.




Click on these links to go direct to the topics:

Lyrics by Sammy Cahn

Help Support The Sammy Film Music Awards

Sammy Cahn Centennial Tribute CD

Highest Number of Sammy Awards

28th Annual Sammy Film Music Awards for 2015

Sammy Cahn and the list of Sammy Film Music Awards

Past Lifetime Achievement Awards






Lyrics by Sammy Cahn

He certainly deserved the honor for these awards. He was nominated for an Oscar 26 times, more than any other songwriter. Sammy received four Oscars for co-writing these songs:

  • "Three Coins in the Fountain" from THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (1954) -- 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 his lyrics to "Love and Marriage" from the television production of OUR TOWN in 1955.

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

The Sammy Film Music Awards

Please help support these awards

Make a donation and receive a multimedia DVD or a CD!

If you donate to help support The Sammy Film Music Awards you will receive either a multimedia DVD or a CD with music from radio programs featuring film music.

Commemorative CD: Oscar Meets Sammy - Film Music On Radio


For $15.00 donation( USA only) or $25.00 (outside of USA) you will receive this CD-R with one hour of music and commentary from several radio programs in Boston, Massachusetts.

Multi-media DVD: A Guide to Film Music (6th edition)

Includes the complete 6th edition of the book, A GUIDE TO FILM MUSIC, with bonus audio (real audio) and video features, including audio files from Oscar music tributes by Roger Hall on WGBH radio with announcements of the annual Sammy Awards. Also a video program with film music critic, Roger Hall. The book and bonus features are included on the DVD, playable on any computer.

You can help support The Sammy Film Music Awards with a donation of $25.00 (USA only)
you will receive A GUIDE TO FILM MUSIC on DVD with bonus audio and video features.
For those outside the USA, please make a donation of $35.00.



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through safe and secure PayPal. Free shipping included!

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Sammy Cahn Centennial Tribute


A CD recorded live in concert with a marvelous group of singers,
accompanied by a swinging jazz combo,
produced by the American Music Recordings Archive and American Classics

Click here






Sammy Cahn Centennial Tribute



Composers with highest number of awards


John Williams



*"Somewhere In My Memory,"
from HOME ALONE, 1990


*"Moonlight" from SABRINA, 1995






*WAR HORSE, 2011

*EMPIRE OF THE SUN (Restored, 2014)

See also:
John Williams: A Birthday Tribute



Alexandre Desplat




*"Still Dream" from RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, 2012





The 28th Annual Sammy Film Music Awards

"What really makes the Sammy Awards worth checking out is the irregular addition
of irreverent and praiseworthy categories."

-- Timothy Sexton (Yahoo Network)


By Roger Hall


Once again here are my choices for the Sammy Film Music Awards (SFMA). They have no direct connection to the Oscars, BAFTA, Golden Globes, or any other awards and are given only for superior film music recordings. They are based on the quality of film scores or movie songs on CDs.

These awards are named in honor of Sammy Cahn (1913-1993), who was Oscar-nominated more than any other songwriter– 26 times in all between 1942 and 1973.  

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

For many years, I announced these awards on the popular radio program, "Music America," on WGBH-FM in Boston, hosted by Ron Della Chiesa. Some of these radio shows are included on the special commemorative CD:
Oscar Meets Sammy - Film Music Awards On Radio

The current awards are based on CDs released in 2015.

Categories for the 28th Annual Sammy Film Music Awards:







28th Annual Sammy Film Music Awards for 2015



Best New Film Score CD Release

Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Walt Disney Records

Now at the tender age of 84, John Williams has received his 13th Sammy Film Music Award.
This is another triumph for the composer who helped make STAR WARS a worldwide sensation.
This award is mainly for the music not the superficial CD booklet filled mostly with film pictures.

Best Golden Age CD Release
(1930s - 1950s)


GIANT (1956) - Music by Dimitri Tiomkin (La-La Land Records - 2 CDs)
One of Tiomkin's great film scores of the 1950s with a majestic Main Theme.
Excellent booklet notes by Frank K. DeWald.
Produced by Neil S. Bulk.



Best Silver Age CD Release
(1960s - 1970s)

SODOM AND GOMORRAH (1962) -Music by Miklos Rozsa (Prometheus - 2 CDs)
another high quality release with this new recording of this marvelous Rozsa film score.
Produced by James Fitzpatrick of Tadlow Music.







Best Bronze Age CD Release
(1980s - 1990s)


DANCES WITH WOLVES John Barry 2-CD SET La-La Land LTD EDN Soundtrack SCORE New!

DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990) - Music by John Barry (La-La Land - 2 CDs)
La-La Land Records, MGM and Sony Music celebrate the 25th Anniversary of this 1990 Best Picture winner,
with a meticulously remastered and expanded re-issue of John Barry’s Oscar-winning score.
Produced by Didier C. Deutsch and Mark G. Wilder.




Best Compilation Release


Jazz Noir - Various artists

JAZZ NOIR - 60 Menacing Masterpieces of Mystery, Murder & Mayhem (Not Now Music 3 CDs)
a wonderful collection of themes from many memorable movies, especially from the 1950s.
Album notes by Colin Salter.



Most Overrated New Film Score Release

The Revenant (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto
with additional music by Bryce Dessner (Milan Records)

Though there are some listeners who think this is an outstanding score,
I disagree and found it very boring to listen to with so little of any melodic or even harmonic interest.
Why do you need three composers to produce such a trance-like (or sleep-inducing) film score?



Special Preservation Award
Best Album Producers

La-La Land Records, WHere sountracks live

La-La Land
MV Gerhard and Matt Verboys, Executive Producers

This record label has been providing a valuable service to those
who appreciate both newer film scores and especially vintage scores
like the outstanding releases on this page.






Sammy Lifetime Achievement Award
For a Past Composer or Songwriter


Since 1988, there have been 20 past American film composers/ arrangers and 7 songwriters and lyric writers named for this Lifetime Achievement Award, each of them have made significant accomplishments in film music.

The film composers and arrangers so far are (in the order of their listing):

Bernard Herrmann, Henry Mancini, Alfred Newman, Max Steiner, Miklos Rozsa, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Dimitri Tiomkin, Franz Waxman, Victor Young, Hugo Friedhofer, Johnny Green, Bronislau Kaper, Alex North, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, , Aaron Copland, John Barry, David Raksin, Jerome Moross, Roy Webb.

The songwriters and lyricists are (in order of their listing):

Sammy Cahn, Ken Darby, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, Johnny Mercer, James Van Heusen, Harry Warren.

This year I'm selecting someone who has been part of my collective song memory ever since I heard the glorious voice of Doris Day singing "Secret Love" back in 1953. His lyrics are personal and direct yet also very sensitively expressed.

It is my great pleasure to recognize this film lyricist, who received three Oscars for his songs and altogether sixteen (16) of his song lyrics were nominated for an Academy Award:


Paul Francis Webster (1907 – 1984)

Many of his lyrics were popular hits by artists such as: The Four Aces, Pat Boone, Johnny Mathis, The Brothers Four, and Andy Williams.

Of all his memorable lyrics, for me the lyrics of "The Shadow of Your Smile" are his best work and along with gifted composer and arranger, Johnny Mandel, they created one of the loveliest of all movie songs. You can hear this song and complete soundtrack on this recommended 3 CD set, selected as Best Vintage Compilation for 2009,

To order A Johnny Mandel Trio (3 CD set) -- click here



Paul Francis Webster lyrics receiving an Academy Award for Best Song:

"Secret Love" from CALAMITY JANE (1953) - music by Sammy Fain
"Love is a Many-Splendored Thing" from film of same title (1956) - music by Sammy Fain
"The Shadow of Your Smile" from THE SANDPIPER (1965) - music by Johnny Mandel

Other Academy Award nominations for P.F. Webster lyrics:

"Remember Me to Carolina" from MINSTREL MAN - music: Harry Revel (1944)
"Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love)" - music: Dimitri Tiomkin (1956)
"April Love" - music: Sammy Fain (1957)
"A Certain Smile" - music: Sammy Fain (1958)
"A Very Precious Love" from MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR - music: Sammy Fain(1958)
"The Green Leaves of Summer" from THE ALAMO - music: Dimitri Tiomkin (1960)
"The Falcon and The Dove" (Love Theme from EL CID) -music: Miklos Rozsa 1961
"Tender is the Night" - music: Sammy Fain (1962)
"Follow Me" (Love Theme from MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY - music: Bronislau Kaper (1962)
"So Little Time" from 55 DAYS AT PEKING - music: Dimitri Tiomkin (1963)
"A Time For Love" - music: Johnny Mandel (1966)
"Strange are the Ways of Love" from THE STEPMOTHER - music: Sammy Fain (1972)
"A World That Never Was" from HALF A HOUSE - music: Sammy Fain (1976)

-- Roger Hall, The Sammy Film Music Awards



To order this songbook -- click here

For a detailed list of his songs from the Songwriters Hall of Fame -- click here

His song,"This Then Is Texas" from GIANT with music by Dimitri Tiomkin
is heard on this DVD,

GIANT (2 Disc Special Edition)



Past Lifetime Achievement Awards


Roy Webb (1888-1982)



Jerome Moross (1913-1983)


David Raksin, 1912-2004


John Barry (1933-2011)



Aaron Copland (1900-1990)

Article: Aaron Copland Talks About Film Music


Ken Darby (1909-1992)

"River Of No Return" - Centennial Tribute to Ken Darby


Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004)



Jay Livingston (1915-2001)
and Ray Evans (1915-2007)



Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004)

Article: Elmer Bernstein - The Magnificent One







Sammy Cahn and the SFMA

A Guide to Film Music



"High Hopes" - Centennial Tribute to Sammy Cahn




The Sammy Film Music Awards (complete list)


For the 25th anniversary see:

ASCAP Playback



If you have comments or questions, write to

The Sammy Film Music Awards












Are you a fan of classic films?


Music Masters -- Fifteen Film Composers





If you enjoy music from older films, this DVD is highly recommended.
It is hosted with great candor by John Mauceri and includes music by
Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, David Raksin, Max Steiner,
Dimitri Tiomkin, and Franz Waxman.

Click on this link to order:

Music for the Movies: The Hollywood Sound









Music from Hollywood

Also recommended is this CD from a 1963 television program,
with the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra and music
conducted by these film composers: Alfred Newman, David Raksin, Alex North,
Franz Waxman, Johnny Green, Bernard Herrmann, Dimitri Tiomkin, and Miklos Rozsa.

Music From Hollywood






See what some fans have selected as their favorite movie songs and scores from the past:

Film Music Web Poll


If you would like to list the Sammys on your Online site and exchange links, or have questions, write to:

The Sammy Awards







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