Cy Coleman, a native New Yorker, was born Seymour Kaufman and was raised in the Bronx. He played classical music at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall as a child but soon turned to jazz, forming the Cy Coleman Trio, which was a big success on the club circuit. Working with the lyricist Carolyn Leigh in his early writing career in the late 1950s and 1960s, he composed hits such as "Witchcraft," "The Best Is Yet to Come," "When In Rome", and "You Fascinate Me So". Coleman then turned to musical theatre, writing "Where Am I Going?," "If My Friends Could See Me Now," "Big Spender" and "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" with lyricist, Dorothy Fields, for Sweet Charity (1966). He and Dorothy Fields collaborated once more on Seesaw (1973) before their partnership was cut short by Dorothy Field's death.
Cy Coleman went on to compose the music for I Love My Wife (1977), On the Twentieth Century (1978), Barnum (1980), City of Angels (1989), The Will Rogers Follies (1991), and The Life (1997). Cy Coleman has been the only composer to win consecutive Tony awards for Best Score at the same time that the corresponding musicals won for Best Musical: City of Angels and Will Rogers' Follies.
Cy Coleman was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1981 and to the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2000. Over the course of his career, he also won three Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards. Cy Coleman died of a cardiac arrest in 2004.
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