||Julius Kerwin Stein
December 31, 1905
||September 20, 1994 (aged 88)
Jule Styne (December 31, 1905 – September 20, 1994) was a British-born American songwriter especially famous for a series of Broadway musicals, which included several very well known and frequently revived shows.
Styne was born in London, England as Julius Kerwin Stein of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine. At the age of eight he moved with his family to Chicago, where at an early age he began taking piano lessons. He proved to be a prodigy and performed with the Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit Symphonies before he was ten years old.
Styne attended Chicago Musical College, but before then he had already attracted attention of another teenager, Mike Todd, later a successful film producer, who commissioned him to write a song for a musical act that he was creating. It would be the first of over 1,500 published songs Styne would compose in his career.
Styne established his own dance band, which brought him to the notice of Hollywood, where he was championed by Frank Sinatra and where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn, with whom he wrote many songs for the movies, including "It's Been a Long, Long Time," "Five Minutes More," and the Oscar-winning "Three Coins in the Fountain". He collaborated on the score for the 1955 musical film My Sister Eileen with Leo Robin. Ten of his songs were nominated for the Oscar, many written with Cahn, including "It Seems I Heard That Song Before", "I'll Walk Alone", "It's Magic", and "I Fall in Love Too Easily".
In 1947, Styne wrote his first score for a Broadway musical, High Button Shoes with Cahn, and over the next several decades wrote the scores for many Broadway shows, most notably Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Peter Pan (additional music), Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy, Do Re Mi, Funny Girl, Sugar (with a story based on the movie Some Like It Hot, but all new music), and the Tony-winning Hallelujah, Baby!.
His collaborators included, among others, Sammy Cahn, Leo Robin, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Stephen Sondheim, and Bob Merrill.
Styne wrote original music for the short-lived, themed amusement park Freedomland U.S.A. which opened on June 19, 1960.
Styne was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981, and he was a recipient of a Drama Desk Special Award and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1990.
A selection of the many songs that Styne wrote: