The songwriter of the month for August 2016 is Cy Coleman.
Cy Coleman was born as Seymour Kaufman on June 14, 1929 in New York to Eastern European Jewish parents. His mother was a landlady and his father a brick mason. Coleman was child prodigy as a pianist–between the ages of six and nine, he gave recitals at Steinway Hall, Town Hall and Carnegie Hall.
As a teen, he formed the Cy Coleman Trio, a jazz group with some success, in both their live performances and recordings as well.
As Cy turned towards composing, he first worked with lyricist Carolyn Leigh. Although the duo wrote some wonderful songs and scores (“The Best Is Yet To Come,” “Rules of the Road,” and “When In Rome”), they famously did not get along and seemed to dislike each other in spite of their success. In the mid 1960s, Cy Coleman met lyricist Dorothy Fields, with whom he wrote the score to the very successful Sweet Charity.
Coleman continued to write musicals in the 1970s and 1980s, including Barnum, I Love My Wife, On the Twentieth Century and City of Angels.
Cy Coleman died from a heart attack in 2004.