About this work
Jule Styne (1905-1994) and Sammy Cahn (1913-1993) were part of the most prolific and successful composer/lyricist teams of the middle years of the middle years of the twentieth century. Like many successful songwriting teams, they were based in Los Angeles in order to be near Hollywood during the heyday of the movie musical. According to the old story, the two were working at their publishers' office on the hottest day of the as-yet unair-conditioned summer and Cahn suggested they pack it in and head for the beach. Styne apparently suggested that instead they try to write a winter song. Cahn wrote the ironic lines "Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful." Styne caught the joke and noodled the melody on the piano and together they finished the song in time to hit the beach in the late afternoon. Numerous singers took up the song and had minor hits with it, but it was Frank Sinatra's 1950 recording of the song that made it a perennial seasonal favorite.