Lyricist Al Stillman was born in New York City in 1906. Ella Fitzgerald was among the first to popularize his songs, recording "I'm Not Complaining," "I'm Up a Tree," and "Don'cha Go 'Way Mad"; Billie Holiday also sang many a Stillman lyric, including "I Wish I Had You," "With Thee I Swing," and "It's Not for Me to Say." In 1940, he scored a major hit with "The Breeze and I," adding lyrics to a melody originally composed by Ernesto Lecuona 11 years earlier, while "Juke Box Saturday Night" was a hit for Glenn Miller in 1942. Although a collaboration with Irvin Graham, Jimmy Shirl, and Ervin Drake yielded several hits including "I Believe" and "Let's Have a Party," Stillman's most successful partnership was with composer Robert Allen; in 1955, the Four Lads reached the number-two spot with their "Moments to Remember," again falling just shy of number one the following year with "No, Not Much!" Stillman and Allen's most memorable creation, however, remains "Chances Are," the chart-topping 1957 Johnny Mathis perennial; that same year, Mathis also enjoyed a major hit with their "It's Not for Me to Say." The duo also penned a series of songs for Perry Como, including "(There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays," "My One and Only Heart," and "You Alone (Solo Tu)." In 1972, Cher notched a Top Ten hit with her reading of Stillman's "The Way of Love."
by Jason Ankeny