​Mike and Jerry each brought a wide variety of talents and experience to the table when they decided to form The Sigman Brothers Theatrical Production Company.

Mike has 5 degrees in music and has made a long career as a rock performer and song writer.  He has established a strong reputation and a large following. 

Jerry was an opera singer, actor, writer and sleight of hand artist known throughout the Chicago area.

They wrote several screenplays together, sent them to  agents, and competed in  contests.  Their work generated strong interest ,  but they did not want to pick up stakes and move their families out of state.

Then, Mike had the brilliant idea of putting their talents to the task of transforming one of their screenplays into a musical for the stage. That is how their first show Etude was born, and that was the beginning of The Sigman Brothers.  

For both of them, it felt like "coming home" and no wonder... for Mike and Jerry discovered they are related to another creative musical artist, Carl Sigman. 

See his fascinating story below.
Carl Sigman 1909-2000
(Bio info.)

Which 20th century songwriter had a six-decade-long career with work recorded by Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Louis Prima, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, The Four Coins, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Brenda Lee, Sonny and Cher, Andy Williams, Sammy Davis Jr., Sarah Vaughan, Jerry Lee Lewis, Merle Haggard, Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell -- among others?

Why Carl Sigman, of course. But most people would ask, "Carl who?" And that's just the way he liked it, explained his son, Michael Sigman, who just released a three-CD set featuring the remarkable career of a man who preferred to let his music speak for itself.


"The interesting thing about doing this whole package was (by his own design) he didn't want people to really know him or even his work as the work of one person," Michael Sigman said. "He just wanted people to like each individual song."

Well, people certainly did like Carl Sigman songs -- and not just the artists whose voices poured out of radios and records for years. Sigman's life very much followed the ebbs and flows of mid-century American pop music created in and around New York City for people who enjoyed a dash of wit, sophistication and urban style.

Born in 1909 and raised in Brooklyn, Carl Sigman's career had humble beginnings. While giving piano lessons, he started writing his own melodies. He found Johnny Mercer, best known for working with Duke Ellington, and Mercer became his friend and musical mentor.

"After playing softball together in the Brooklyn schoolyards, we'd spend long nights writing what seemed to be Isham Jones songs," Mercer wrote in his memoirs. "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."

Michael Sigman says his father soon focused on lyrics and tried to write songs that sounded like snippets of conversation. The titles attest to his success: "All Too Soon," "What Now My Love?" "Losing You." Of course, hearing artists such as Nat King Cole implore a disappointed lover to "Come Out Of The Rain" added a timeless touch.

Before World War II, Sigman tended to get assignments from big bands to write lyrics. He would go to the Brill Building in Manhattan and write. The CD features "It's Square But It Rocks" from this era, performed by Count Basie and his Orchestra with Helen Hume. The title refers to the dance floor and a hip club, said Michael Sigman.


After the War, Carl Sigman continued writing on his own, but also began collaborating with Bob Russell and Bob Hilliard, They often spent hours together writing music and lyrics, Michael Sigman said. Then the music publishing business changed yet again.

"As he got older and the business changed, it became much more that he would not necessarily meet the person that he was collaborating with, but would get -- even in the mail, or by messenger -- a whole bunch of melodies from a publisher, with a note saying, 'Carl, can you write lyrics to any of these?'" his son recounted. "He wouldn't do the two-hour-a-day discipline thing. He would just obsess on them until they were all done."

Sigman remembers his father sitting at the piano at their Long Island home, playing the key phrases of a melody over and over. "He always said if you come up with a title, you're halfway there," Michael Sigman said. "And what he would try to do was get a title of those venacularese words -- if I can say that -- with a melody."

As you might suspect, Frank Sinatra was his father's favorite singer. Sinatra recorded 13 Carl Sigman songs, starting with "Love Lies" in 1940 to "What Now My Love," in a duet with Aretha Franklin in the 1990s. What Carl Sigman liked best about Sinatra was what everybody liked -- his amazing vocal phasing, Michael Sigman said.

What's been most gratifying to Michael Sigman about the project has been the reaction by artists who know his father's music -- and in some cases still perform it. Sigman got a surprise phone call this winter from Keely Smith, who told him, "I knew your dad wrote "Bongo, Bongo" but I didn't know he wrote all that other stuff!"

"My favorite one from someone who is on the disc is a hand-written letter I got from Brenda Lee, which said that "Losing You" is one of her favorite songs and she still does it whenever she plays. It shows the value of great songs," Sigman recalled. "It was signed 'Love, Brenda.' That was a thrill."


Carl Sigman was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1909. After a childhood highlighted by baseball games and classical piano lessons, he graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, and his mother gave him the ultimatum of becoming a doctor or a lawyer. Since he did not like the sight of blood, he chose law. He attended NYU Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar. But music was his love, and he never practiced law. As his wife Terry Sigman would later put it, Carl felt music was more up his (Tin Pan) alley.

One of Carl’s friends as a young man was Johnny Mercer, already an important songwriter. Carl’s first published song was “Just Remember,” a collaboration with Mercer that became a hit in England in 1936. Although he loved Carl’s melodies, Johnny advised him to write lyrics, on the theory that he had already shown he had a way with words and tune writers were a dime a dozen. Mercer moved to Los Angeles, embarking on one of the most remarkable careers in the history of popular music, while Carl continued to make his way in New York.
Before World War II, Carl had his first smash hit, collaborating with Glenn Miller on "Pennsylvania 6-5000," which remains a standard to this day. Carl was drafted in 1942 and was attached to the glider division of the 82nd Airborne. He received a $25 war bond for writing what became the 82nd's official song "The All American Soldier." Awarded a Bronze star for his service in Africa, he was a true World War II hero when he was discharged in 1945.

In 1946-1947, amazing things started to happen for Carl. In quick succession, he wrote "Ballerina," "Crazy He Calls Me," "Enjoy Yourself," "Civilization," and a number of other songs which reached to top levels of "Your
Hit Parade." He also wrote his one and only Broadway Show, "Angel in the Wings," which ran for almost a year and gave Elaine Stritch her first big break. 

In 1948 Carl met his future wife and best friend, Terry, who was working as a personal assistant for Louis Prima in the legendary Brill Building. They were married after a whirlwind courtship, and three sons and a myriad hit songs followed over the next several years. "My Heart Cries For You," "It's All In The Game," "Answer Me," and "Careless Hands" were among the future evergreens written during this period, as Carl wrote both lyrics and melodies with collaborators including Peter De Rose, Bob Hilliard, Bob Russell, Duke Ellington and Tadd Dameron.
As the 50s passed into the 60s, Carl wrote some of his most well-known and enduring songs, including "Ebb Tide," "Shangri La," "Arrivederci Roma," "Till," and "Buona Sera." By this time Carl's songs had been recorded by virtually every major star, including Frank Sinatra (who eventually recorded some 15 of his songs) Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Mel Torme and Ella Fitzgerald. 

The 1960s were a turbulent time in pop music, as the Beatles and other rock groups swept many of the more traditional songs off the charts. Nevertheless, Carl continued to thrive during this period, writing such hits as "What Now My Love," "The Day The Rains Came," "You're My World," "A Day In The Life Of A Fool," and "(Over And Over) The World We Knew."

In 1970 Carl wrote what would become his most popular song, and one of the most popular songs internationally of all time, "Where Do I Begin (Love Story)," the theme from the Ryan ONeal/Ali McGraw blockbuster film. This song sold a huge amount of sheet music and was recorded by hundreds of artists, including Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, and Shirley Bassey. Later in the decade, Carl wrote hits for Andy Williams ("Music From Across The Way"), Elvis Presley ("Fool"), and Frank Sinatra ("The Saddest Thing Of All"). 

Over the past two decades, right up to his death at the age of 91 in 2000, Carl continued to write new songs while reaping the benefits of continued success for this many standards. During his period his songs were even recorded and performed by many rock and reggae acts, including Mink DeVille, Bad Manners, The Specials, and Deep Purple.

Carl Sigman’s catalog numbers some 800 songs and has become, to quote the recent MIDEM Daily News, “one of the most important US catalogs."