Fain, Sammy

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FAIN, SAMMY (1902–1989), U.S. songwriter. Born in New York and named Samuel Feinberg, Fain was a trained pianist who worked in vaudeville and in the music-publishing business before achieving success as a composer in the mid-1920s. In a six-decade career, he wrote the music for such well-loved popular songs as "I'll Be Seeing You," "That Old Feeling," "Secret Love," and "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing." He won Academy Awards for the latter two and his songs received eight other Academy Award nominations. Among his other major songs were "I Can Dream, Can't I?" with his frequent lyricist-partner, Irving Kahal, "Dear Hearts and Gentle People," and the title song from the film April Love. Earlier, he had hits with "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella on a Rainy (Rainy) Day," "Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine," and "When I Take My Sugar to Tea." Called to Hollywood, the team of Fain and Kahal wrote songs for a number of movie musicals. One of their most successful movie songs, "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me," was introduced by Maurice Chevalier. "That Old Feeling," one of the great torch ballads, was introduced in the movie Vogues of 1938. Perhaps his most famous song was "I'll Be Seeing You," which was popularized in nightclubs in the 1940s and went on to become one of the most romantic signature songs of World War ii. During the 1950s, with the lyricist Bob Hilliard, Fain composed the songs for the 1951 Disney film Alice in Wonderland, including "I'm Late." With Paul Francis Webster, he wrote the music for the films A Certain Smile (1958) and Tender Is the Night (1961). Some of the other movies for which he wrote the music include Call Me Mister (1951) and a remake of The Jazz Singer (1953).

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]