Illustration from memorial tribute to Sammy Cahn
in 1993 issue of Sheet Music Magazine.
Read the special tribute for the
Sammy Cahn Centennial
Why the Sammy Film Music Awards?
By Roger Hall
For many years I've been disappointed and frustrated by the major awards such as the Oscars and Golden Globes, and critics who have paid little attention to one important category which is often crucial to a film. That category is -- film music.
The Sammy Film Music Awards began with just three categories:
Best Score, Best Song, and
Lifetime Achievement for a Film Composer or Songwriter.
Later other categories were added, such as: Best Song Compilation which began in 1997, and Platinum Award for Most Overlooked Score, first named in 2000. Also, a Special Preservation Award is given each year for
Best Album Producer.
The Sammys have no connection to any other awards and are based on the quality of the soundtrack, song or compilation on CDs. How the music is used in the film is also evaluated but is not the only factor in the final choice.
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 Sammy Awards were chosen by me for best score and song of 1988– the year of Sammy Cahn’s 75th birthday. When he was notified of these awards he said he was “flattered and honored" to have them named after him. He certainly deserved the honor.
Sammy received 4 Oscars for these songs:
- "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
All these songs were recorded by Frank Sinatra, who was an admirer of Sammy's lyrics and all four songs are included on this CD,
Recorded live in concert with a marvelous group
a swinging jazz combo,
produced by the American Music Recordings Archive and American Classics. To order,