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Carl Sigman

Field Notes From a Music Biz Life (Part 3)

Michael Sigman | Posted 08.27.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

My father, the songwriter Carl Sigman, was a rational man and his anti-rock screeds had their own internal logic: "It's noise," therefore "it's not music." Ipso facto, "they should call it something else." QED.

Field Notes From a Music Biz Life (Part 2)

Michael Sigman | Posted 08.20.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

My father, the songwriter Carl Sigman, had died a few days before at my parents' Long Island home and I'd just been on the receiving end of a verbal thrashing, in Thai, from an enraged restaurateur whose tiny ad we'd had the gall to run near the equally tiny ad of his Thai food rival.

Field Notes from a Music Biz Life (Part 1)

Michael Sigman | Posted 08.13.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

Let's start before the beginning: No Brill Building, no me. At the Brill, Manhattan's mid-20th Century citadel of music biz hustle, the elevator man ...

How Elaine Stritch Got Her Big Broadway Break

Michael Sigman | Posted 09.16.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

Non-theatergoers will know her from her comic turn as Alec Baldwin's imperious mother in 30 Rock. I remember her from a sweeter moment, after a performance of her Tony-winning one-woman show, Elaine Stritch At Liberty.

Andy Kaufman, Summer Camp and Rock & Roll

Michael Sigman | Posted 07.18.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

The 30th anniversary of performance artist Andy Kaufman's premature death has inspired moving reminiscences from friends and admirers. I didn't know A...

The Day the Rains Came to CA, Mother Earth Smiled Again

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.14.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

If my dad, Carl Sigman, were around on the day the rains came to California last month in the midst of the worst drought the state has seen in centuries, he might have said, 'Mother Earth smiled again.'

Of Phil Spector, Marshmallows and Ebb Tides

Michael Sigman | Posted 01.27.2014 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

During the early 1960s, my father, songwriter Carl Sigman, and many of his "Great American Songbook" contemporaries watched in horror as airwaves and ...

North Pond Hermit Is No Robin Hood

Michael Sigman | Posted 08.13.2013 | Fifty
Michael Sigman

The recent arrest of "North Pond Hermit" Chris Knight -- a forest-dwelling loner and serial thief who is said to have committed 1000 burglaries over t...

Facebook Serendipity, a Christmas Album and More, Much More

Michael Sigman | Posted 12.13.2012 | Fifty
Michael Sigman

I recently Facebook-friended Josh Mills, who reciprocated right away -- because, I assumed, he remembered me fondly from many years ago when we were both music journalists.

Howie Richmond (1917-2012): Music Publishing Pioneer With a Big Heart

Michael Sigman | Posted 07.28.2012 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

You may not know the name Howie Richmond, but without him, it's likely you'd have never gotten to know the music of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Lead Belly and many other essential figures in American and European popular music.

Hello, The Marx Brothers Must Be Coming

Michael Sigman | Posted 06.20.2011 | Comedy
Michael Sigman

My passion for the absurd may derive from early childhood exposure to my mom's twisted song parodies. My fave was "I've Got the World on a String," in...

Sondheim's Lyrics: Rhymes, Reasons and Religion

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Arts
Michael Sigman

Though I grew up in an agnostic household, I was rarely in doubt that a spiritual force was afoot. Music, specifically what's come to be called "The Great American Songbook," was our religion.

Songwriters Hall Of Fame Finds a Home

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

Most songwriters, even successful ones, toil alone or with a single collaborator. To call them unsung would be oxymoronic, but with a few exceptions t...

A Hotel, a Phone Number and a Son

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | New York
Michael Sigman

The 15 Penn Plaza plan will bring down the legendary Hotel Pennsylvania. The hotel, built in 1919, has a rich history, an essential part of which is bound up with my father's first hit as a songwriter.

My Heart Cries for Mitch Miller

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

Mitch Miller, the musical maven of middle-of-the-road pop who died in Manhattan Saturday at 99, became a household name via his early-'60s TV show Sing Along With Mitch.

Easy Listener: Why You Should Know Singer Joyce Breach

David Finkle | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
David Finkle

There's a world-class pop singer you may not know about but absolutely should. She's Joyce Breach, who's been hiding her mellow light under lucky urban bushes.

Eight Thoughts About Election Day and Words and Music

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Politics
Michael Sigman

1.Tuesday's election wins by Sharron Angle in Nevada and Nikki Haley in South Carolina were helped immeasurably by those candidates' association with ...

Outrage Is All the Rage

Michael Sigman | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Michael Sigman

Sometimes you have to respond to lies -- think Obama and the birthers. But in most cases, the more rewarding path is simple, though far from easy: Let it be.

Creating Community in LA: Emergency Preparedness

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Los Angeles
Michael Sigman

No man is an island. Surely you want to be linked up with neighbors in case of emergencies like earthquakes and fires. That way, when the crisis is over, you can return to your hermetic ways in one piece.

Apologizing Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Media
Michael Sigman

The death last week of Erich Segal reminded the world of Love Story, his 1969 mega-selling book, and the blockbuster 1970 movie of the same name, for which he wrote the Oscar-nominated screenplay.

In the Press-ence of Elvis

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

I once was this close to Elvis Presley. I got goose bumps just being near the man whose glorious music introduced me -- and countless millions -- to an ecstatic world beyond our everyday experience.

Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)

Michael Sigman | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Michael Sigman

What we can do is "enjoy ourselves" by striving to appreciate the wonder of our life and times, including the inevitable setbacks.

Field Notes from a Songwriter's Centennial -- Part II

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

September 24th is the centennial birthday of my late father, the songwriter Carl Sigman (1909-2000), who wrote nearly a thousand songs.

'Civilization' and its Disc Contents

Michael Sigman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Entertainment
Michael Sigman

"Civilization" might be faulted for political incorrectness in today's terms, a playful attitude will reward the listener with plenty of smiles and maybe even a few belly laughs.