Sammy Fain
Background information
Birth nameSamuel E. Feinberg
Born(1902-06-17)June 17, 1902
New York City, New York, United States
DiedDecember 6, 1989(1989-12-06) (aged 87)
Los Angeles, California, United States
GenresPopular music

Sammy Fain (born Samuel E. Feinberg; June 17, 1902 – December 6, 1989) was an American composer of popular music.[1] In the 1920s and early 1930s, he contributed numerous songs that form part of The Great American Songbook, and to Broadway theatre. Fain was also a popular musician and vocalist.


Sammy Fain was born in New York City,[1] the son of a cantor. In 1923, Fain appeared in the short sound film, "Sammy Fain and Artie Dunn" directed by Lee De Forest filmed in DeForest's Phonofilm sound-on-film process. In 1925, Fain left the Fain-Dunn act to devote himself to music. Fain was a self-taught pianist who played by ear. He began working as a staff pianist and composer for music publisher Jack Mills.[1] In 1932, he appeared in the short film The Crooning Composer.[citation needed]

Later, Fain worked extensively in collaboration with Irving Kahal. Together they wrote classics such as "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella" and "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me," (co-written with Pierre Norman) and "I'll Be Seeing You." Another lyricist who collaborated with Fain was Lew Brown, with whom he wrote "That Old Feeling". His Broadway credits also include Everybody's Welcome, Right This Way, Hellzapoppin', Flahooley, Ankles Aweigh, Christine and Something More.[1]

Film works

Fain also composed music for more than 30 films in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song ten times, winning twice, with "Secret Love" from Calamity Jane[2] in 1954 and with "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing"[3] from the movie of the same title in 1956.[1] He co-wrote both songs with Paul Francis Webster, another long-time collaborator. Fain wrote the second theme to the TV series Wagon Train in 1958, which was called "(Roll Along) Wagon Train". He also contributed to the song scores for the Walt Disney animated films Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Rescuers (the latter, soon to be his last effort, also earned him another Oscar nomination).[1][4][5][6]

In 1963, he collaborated with Harold Adamson,[1] in writing songs for the film The Incredible Mr. Limpet, which came out in 1964, and such songs as "I Wish I Were a Fish", "Be Careful How You Wish" and "Deep Rapture" enhanced his fame.[citation needed]


In 1972, he was inducted into The Songwriters Hall of Fame.[1][7]


Fain died from a heart attack in Los Angeles, California,[1] and is interred at Cedar Park Cemetery, in Emerson, New Jersey.

Work on Broadway


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 448. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ "The 26th Academy Awards | 1954". Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  3. ^ "The 28th Academy Awards | 1956". Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Disney's "The Rescuers" on Records |". Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  5. ^ "Happy Anniversary to Walt Disney's "Alice in Wonderland!" |". Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  6. ^ "The 50th Academy Awards | 1978". Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Sammy Fain | Songwriters Hall of Fame". Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  8. ^ "Calamity Jane - The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row - Musicals Tonight!". 18 March 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2021.