I had great love and admiration for composer Cy Coleman.  We met on “The Will Rogers Follies” and we stayed in touch after that show was over until his untimely death from at massive heart attack in 2004 at the too-young age of 75.


Cy Coleman’s roots were in The Blues and Jazz and he brought that deep sensibility to his songs and shows for Broadway. 

Cy wrote some of the greatest musical scores of all time:

Seesaw
Wildcat
Little Me
Sweet Charity
I Love My Wife
On the Twentieth Century
Barnum
City of Angels
The Will Rogers Follies
The Life

Here is Cy singing his composition — Witchcraft — the lyric was written by Carolyn Leigh:

Here is Cy singing — The Best is Yet to Come — and he wrote the music with a lyric by Carolyn Leigh —

Cy Coleman was an outstanding musician.  He played live with “The Cy Coleman Trio” in hotspots all around New York City throughout his lifetime.

Cy’s great contribution to the theatre was his staunch defense in favor of author rights and residuals. 

Cy was The Muscle on his shows and he never backed down from a fight against outside forces trying to diminish the work of the original creators.

Cy Coleman’s legacy is not just musical — it is also creatively human in the example of the need to confront any insurgence against the claim the right of the original authors as the only necessary authors on any production.

Posted by David Boles

David Boles was born in Nebraska and his MFA is from Columbia University in the City of New York. He is an Author, Lyricist, Playwright, Publisher, Editor, Actor, Designer, Director, Poet, Producer, and Boodle Boy for print, radio, television, film, the web and the live stage. With more than 50 books in print, David continues to write 2MM words a year. He has authored over 25K articles and published more. Read the Prairie Voice Archive at Boles.com | Buy his books at David Boles Books Writing & Publishing | Earn the world with David Boles University | Get a script doctored at Script Professor | Touch American Sign Language mastery at Hardcore ASL.

9 Comments

  1. Gordon Davidescu January 10, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Cy was a brilliant musician and muscle. I love those videos!

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  2. Yes, Cy was a child prodigy and he always was one step ahead of everyone around him. Those videos are from “Playboy After Dark” and were hosted by Hugh Hefner:
    http://www.tvparty.com/recplayboy.html

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  3. kathakali.chatterjee January 10, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Thanks David, the music and the lyrics are just divine, thanks again…

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  4. It is a perfect blend of melody to lyric.

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  5. […] Peter told me, as the writing of the show was coming to a close.  Peter was writing the book, and Cy Coleman was writing the music and Betty Comden and Adolph Green were writing the […]

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  6. […] a search for my composer friend “Cy Coleman” brings up a magical list of songs long forgotten and albums I didn’t even know […]

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  7. […] Cy Coleman was a friend of mine and I miss him a lot.  Listening to the demo album for his “Barnum” musical is a great gift he left us.  Cy sings all the songs and plays the piano.  Did you know “Barnum” started as this Jazz album?  I like this version — this originating schema — of what the Broadway Barnum songs were supposed to be instead of what they ended up becoming on stage.  Perhaps the musical would have even more depth and resonance today if the original Jazz reflections had been more faithfully reproduced on the live stage? […]

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  8. […] a similar note on how orchestration changes the very essence of a song, here’s Cy Coleman singing “One Brick at a Time” from his hit Broadway show, Barnum.  Cy is also playing […]

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  9. […] Directors are not authors, even though they try to claim creator credit when it comes to the division of author royalties on a production. […]

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