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Born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, Sigman graduated from law school and passed his bar exams to practice in the state of New York. Instead of law, encouraged by his friend Johnny Mercer, he embarked on a songwriting career, that saw him become one of the most prominent and successful songwriters in American music history. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts in Africa, during World War II.
He also wrote English language lyrics to many songs which were originally composed in other languages, such as "Answer Me", "Till", "The Day The Rains Came" and "What Now My Love". During the big band era, Sigman composed works used by top band leaders such as Glenn Miller and Guy Lombardo. These included "Pennsylvania 6-5000". His songs were also hits for individual singers. Some of the best-known are "My Heart Cries For You", which was recorded by three different artists in 1951: Dinah Shore, Guy Mitchell and Vic Damone. Two years later, Sigman's song "Ebb Tide" was a hit for Frank Chacksfield; and was a Top 10 Billboard chart hit in 1965 for the Righteous Brothers.
Tommy Edwards scored a #1 in 1958 with "It's All In The Game", with lyrics by Sigman set to music the future Vice President Charles Gates Dawes had composed in 1912. He is most widely remembered for writing the lyrics for "Where Do I Begin", the theme song for Love Story. Love Story went on to become the top grossing U.S. film of 1970 and the song became a hit for Andy Williams.
- "A Marshmallow World" (collaboration with Peter deRose)
- "Arrivederci Roma"
- "The All American Soldier"
- "All Too Soon" (collaboration with Duke Ellington)
- "Answer Me"
- "Buona Sera"
- "Careless Hands"
- "Crazy He Calls Me" (collaboration with Bob Russell)
- "Dance Ballerina Dance" (collaboration with Bob Russell)
- "A Day In The Life Of A Fool"
- "The Day The Rains Came" (1957)
- "Ebb Tide"
- "Enjoy Yourself" (1948)
- "How Will I Remember You" (music by Walter Gross)
- "I Could Have Told You" (collaboration with Jimmy Van Heusen)
- "If You Could See Me Now" (collaboration with Tadd Dameron)
- "It's All In The Game"
- "Music From Across The Way"
- "My Heart Cries For You"
- "Pennsylvania 6-5000" (collaboration with Glenn Miller)
- "The Saddest Thing Of All"
- "What Now My Love"
- "(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story"
- "The World We Knew (Over and Over)"
- "You're My World"
- Martin, Douglas (September 30, 2000). "Carl Sigman, 91, Songsmith Who Made Generations Hum". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Carl Sigman, Composer of 'Pennsylvania 6-5000,' Dies". The Washington Post. October 1, 2000. Retrieved March 9, 2015. (registration required (. ))
- "Love Story, Box Office Information". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 258.
- "Carl Sigman". Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Carl Sigman". The Times. October 6, 2000. Retrieved 2009-10-15. (registration required (. ))
- Oliver, Myrna (October 4, 2000). "Carl Sigman; Wrote Lyrics for Many Well-Known Songs". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-10-15. (registration required (. ))
- Bio at JazzBiographies.com
- Carl Sigman official Web site
- Interview with Sigman's son about his father
- SHoF page on Sigman