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__If people throughout the United States and overseas (many of Carl’s songs were not only domestic hits but huge successes internationally as well) were hearing these lyrics and saying, “So that’s who wrote that song!”, then Carl Sigman was a happy man. For all of the abundant life in his songs, from the poignant evocation of utter heartbreak in “Losing You” to the sanguine acknowledgement of pain leading to pleasure in the oft-covered “It’s All In The Game,” this son of a Brooklyn ladies’ shoe manufacturer and a housewife mother (or as Rae Bresson Sigman was characterized by Carl’s mentor, Johnny Mercer, in the latter’s forthcoming memoir, “[Carl’s] little, round attractive mother [who filled me up] with blintzes or chopped liver on rye bread”) was happiest alone, or in the company of his wife, Terry (maiden name Eleanor Berkowitz), and three sons, Michael, Randy and Jeffrey.
__“The truth is that he was a tense person for much of his life, and almost phobic about going out and being a public person,” recalls his son Michael, who now heads Carl’s publishing company, MajorSongs. “That’s one of the reasons the catalogue isn’t as well known, and it’s also why he didn’t do more Broadway shows or movie themes or anything like that. He just wanted to be left alone. He played golf virtually every day of his life, and when he got into a foursome or something, it was fine. But he was also happy playing by himself. He hated being interviewed. He wrote one Broadway show that was a moderate hit (Angel In The Wings,) but never wanted to do it again because he had to go to the theater and meet producers and hang out. Literally, in the last 25-or-so years of his life, he was very much on his own, except for my mom and immediate family and a couple of friends.”
__“No, he didn’t schmooze like other people did,” agrees Terry, his wife of 51 years (they met when she was working for Louis Prima and Carl came up for a visit as Prima was preparing to record “Civilization.” Seventeen years Terry’s senior, Carl swept her off her feet and four months later they were wed, thus answering the question posed in Carl’s 1971 hit, “Love Story,” to wit: “Where do I begin/to tell the story of how great a love can be?”), although she adds: “He had his coterie of friends. And they happened to be a bunch of guys who were in different phases of the business, and they were all close. They had a poker game, and they were all friends. One was Harry Meyerson, who at one time was with MGM Records and ended up at Decca; there was Joe Carlton, who was an A&R man at RCA Victor; there was Jack Lacey, a deejay on WINS in those days; there was Paul Barry, a song plugger; there was Howie Richmond, a publisher; and Allie Brackman, who was partners with Howie; and Jerry Wexler. It was a bunch of us who lived in Manhasset and Great Neck and the environs; all the women were friends and the men were friends.” >

Shirtless, in brooklyn.

“After playing softball together in the Brooklyn schoolyards, we’d spend long nights writing what seemed to be Isham Jones songs. But we had only one song published, ‘Just Remember,’ and it was not a hit. But I loved Carl’s tunes. As it turned out, he was also a great lyric writer, which he later proved.”

—Johnny Mercer

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