Before the meeting on the 6th of February the Forum’s speaker finder John Spinner discovered that the scheduled speaker would not be available. At short notice he arranged for an old friend of the Forum Stuart Atkins to speak and his chosen subject was the songwriter Sammy Cahn.
Stuart has a special relationship with the work of his subject having, in 1991 written a show called There Goes That Song Again featuring Sammy Cahn’s songs which ran at the Leeds Civic Theatre before going on tour throughout Britain.
Cahn was a lyricist who worked with many partners but mainly Jules Styne and James van Heusen. Frank Sinatra recorded 87 songs written by Cahn and Stuart played a number of these as well as performances by Barbra Streisand, Nat King Cole and other equally talented singers.
With four different partners he wrote 26 songs nominated for Oscars including four which received the award. Stuart had telephone discussions with Sammy Cahn when writing his show and arranged to meet him on his next visit to Britain, but he died before this could happen.
Mike Earle thanked Stuart for a morning of nostalgia.