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Styne, Jule


STYNE, JULE (1905–1994), U.S. songwriter and theatrical composer. Born in London as Julius Stein, he went to the U.S. as a young boy, settling in Chicago with his family. At eight he began studying at the Chicago College of Music and won a medal in a Chicago Symphony competition for children. He moved to New York and became a vocal coach and then joined 20th Century Fox in Hollywood coaching such stars as Shirley Temple. He wrote songs including "I Don't Want to Walk Without You," with Frank *Loesser. He met Sammy *Cahn and they turned out a stream of popular hits, including "It's Been a Long, Long Time" and "I've Heard That Song Before." Many of their songs were written for Frank Sinatra, including the Oscar-winning "Three Coins in the Fountain." In 1987, Styne estimated that he had written 2,000 songs, had published 1,500, and had had 200 hits.

His tunes became standards for three generations and he composed such classic Broadway musicals as Gypsy, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bells Are Ringing, and Funny Girl. The songs from the shows bore the stamp of the singers who introduced them: Ethel Merman, Carol Channing, Judy *Holliday, and Barbra *Streisand. His collaborators included Stephen *Sondheim and Betty *Comden and Adolph *Green. Styne was honored in 1990 by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for his cultural contributions to the nation.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]

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