Mort Shuman (November 12, 1938 – November 2, 1991) was an
American singer, pianist and songwriter, best known as co-writer of
many 1960s rock and roll hits, including "Viva Las Vegas". He also
wrote and sang many songs in French, such as "Le Lac Majeur", "Allo
Papa Tango Charlie", "Sha Mi Sha", "Un Eté de Porcelaine", and
Brooklyn by the Sea" which became hits in France.
1 Life and career
2 Awards and honors
3 Selected Discography
6 External links
Life and career
Further information: List of songs written by
Doc Pomus and Mort
Shuman was born in Brooklyn, New York City, of Polish Jewish
immigrants and went to Abraham Lincoln High School, subsequently
studying music at the New York Conservatory. He became a fan of
R&B music and after he met
Doc Pomus the two teamed up to compose
Aldon Music at offices in New York City's Brill Building. Their
songwriting collaboration saw Pomus write the lyrics and Shuman the
melody, although occasionally each worked on both. Their compositions
would be recorded by artists such as Dion, The Flamingos, Andy
Williams, Bobby Darin, Fabian,
Ajda Pekkan The Drifters, and Elvis
Presley, among others. Their most famous songs include "A Teenager in
Love", "Turn Me Loose", "This Magic Moment", "Save The Last Dance For
Me", "Little Sister", "Can't Get Used to Losing You", "(Marie's the
Name) His Latest Flame", "Viva Las Vegas" and "Sweets for My Sweet".
Pomus often drew on life events which inspired his creativity. It was
after a break-up with his girlfriend that Pomus, who had been driving
in his car, was struck in awe by the sounds of the car horns blaring
amidst his thoughts. Arriving at the studio, Pomus
attempted to assimilate the sound of the horns and penned an
introduction to a piece he initially titled "A Crowded Avenue". Later,
the work progressed with Shuman, who helped finalize the
draft. A chorus was added and the name of the song
was changed to "Can't Get Used to Losing You", which became one of the
biggest hits for
Andy Williams in 1963.
With the advent of the British invasion, they moved to
they penned songs for a number of British musicians. After the
Doc Pomus ended in 1965, Shuman moved to Paris,
France, where he wrote songs for
Johnny Hallyday and embarked on his
own recording career. One of his hits in the early 1970s was "(Il
Neige Sur) Le Lac Majeur". He also wrote a couple of hits in the UK
(including one for The Small Faces, "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" co-written with
Kenny Lynch), as well as a musical, Budgie (lyrics by Don Black). With
the Welsh songwriter Clive Westlake, he wrote "Here I Go Again", which
was recorded by The Hollies.
Billy J. Kramer
Billy J. Kramer enjoyed success with
another Shuman song, "Little Children".
In 1968, Shuman teamed with Eric Blau and adapted the French lyrics of
songs by the
Jacques Brel used as the basis of the
successful off-Broadway production
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and
Living in Paris. Some of the songs from the show were subsequently
recorded by Scott Walker, including "Jackie" and "Mathilde". Shuman
appeared in both the stage revue and the 1975 film adaptation. This
was followed the next year with work on the soundtrack of the film Sex
O'Clock U.S.A., which is notable for featuring one of the earliest
known gay songs, "You're My Man," while another one of his
compositions from the soundtrack, "Baby Come On" (billed under the Sex
O'Clock U.S.A. name during its chart run) become a modest hit on
Billboard's Disco chart, peaking at number 37 in July 1977. He also
did many collaborations with the Israeli singer Mike Brant, and
composed film scores, often French movies, including A Day at the
Romance of a Horsethief
Romance of a Horsethief (1971), Black Thursday (1974),
À nous les petites Anglaises
À nous les petites Anglaises (1976), Monsieur Papa (1977) and The
More It Goes, the Less It Goes (1977).
Shuman was elected to the
Songwriters Hall of Fame
Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992. He also
worked occasionally as an actor, notably appearing with Jodie Foster
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (for which he was also
He died of cancer on November 2, 1991, leaving his wife, Maria-Pia and
their four daughters, Maria-Cella, Barbara, Maria-Pia and
Doc Pomus had died in March of the same year.
Awards and honors
Shuman was named one of the 2010 recipients of the
Ahmet Ertegun Award
from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He joined his early collaborator
Doc Pomus, who was inducted in 1992.
"Imagine.", 1976. - Sales: Gold = Gold Record.
"Le Lac Majeur.", 1973.
"La Splendeur De Rome.", 1974.
Mort Shuman song).", written E. L. Moro, M. Shuman, 1976.
Mort Shuman song).", 1980.
^ "Mort Shuman". www.mortshuman.com. Archived from the original on
2010-11-28. Retrieved 2017-03-30.
^ "New York -
London - Paris - Caudéran: the life of the legendary
songwriter and singer Mort Shuman". Invisible Bordeaux. Retrieved
^ Writing credit, Zirkon 45 RPM 7" No. 45-1023
London Records 12" -L.9, 1976
Mort Shuman Biography". Songwriters Hall of Fame. November 2, 1991.
Archived from the original on May 21, 2011. Retrieved April 16,
^ "Congratulations to the 2010
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees!".
Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved December
Bloom, Ken. American song. The complete musical theater companion.
1877–1995'’, Vol. 2, 2nd edition, Schirmer Books, 1996.
Larkin, Colin. The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Third edition,
Stambler, Irwin. Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock and Soul, St. Martin's
Mort Shuman on IMDb
Mort Shuman Dies Obituary in The New York Times, November 4, 1991
(retrieved January 22, 2010)
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2010
Ahmet Ertegun Award)
Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
ISNI: 0000 0001 0902 8438
BNF: cb138997556 (data)