By Ben Rimalower
18 Jan 2014
Jule (pronounced "Julie") Styne was already a successful composer for pop songs and movies, before he started writing for musical theatre and went on to become one of the Golden Age of Broadway's most prolific and popular songwriters. It is, therefore, virtually impossible to whittle down his tremendous output to a mere Top Ten List.
In an effort to make the goal somewhat achievable, I've limited myself to songs Styne wrote for Broadway musicals. Also, I've tried to judge the songs based on Styne's contribution — the music — rather than the work of the lyricists. Of course, in the best songs, these elements work together so seamlessly that their individual impacts are inextricably linked, and I cannot guarantee that I wasn't swayed by the wit and wordplay of Betty Comden and Adolph Green or by Stephen Sondheim's sensitivity and smarts. Indeed, Styne's collaborations with these particular lyricists make up the lion's share of my selections.