This article is about the American songwriter. For the Scottish judge, see Arthur Hamilton, Lord Hamilton.
Arthur Hamilton (born c.1926) is an American songwriter, who is best known for writing the song "Cry Me a River", first published in 1953 and most famously recorded by Julie London in 1955.
He was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of songwriter Jack Stern (1896-1985). He learned piano as a child, and also studied music theory and counterpoint.
In 1949 he wrote an early live television musical for KTTV in Los Angeles. He also worked for a music publishing company. In 1953, he contributed three songs to the film Pete Kelly's Blues, including "Sing A Rainbow" and "He Needs Me", sung by Peggy Lee. However, Hamilton's third song, "Cry Me A River", sung by Ella Fitzgerald, was dropped from the film. The song's first release and most famous recording was by actress and singer Julie London in 1955. Her performance of the song in the 1956 film The Girl Can't Help It helped to make it a million-selling hit, reaching # 9 in the US Billboard chart and # 22 in the UK.
His compositions have been recorded by Dinah Washington, Harry Connick Jr., Barbra Streisand, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Diana Krall, The Dells (whose version of "Sing a Rainbow" was an international hit in 1969), and others. On many occasions, Hamilton worked exclusively as a lyricist; his long list of collaborators includes such composers as Walter Jurmann,Armando Manzanero,Jerry Fielding,Johnny Mandel,Michel Legrand,David Raksin,Robert Ragland,Riz Ortolani,Terry Trotter, Lori Barth,Barry Mann,Dave Grusin,Walter Scharf,Joe Harnell,Leroy Holmes,Harriet Schock,Ron Anthony, Scottish "Britain's Got Talent" sensation Susan Boyle, and Patrick Williams. Hamilton has also been nominated for an Oscar, two Emmys, and a Golden Globe. He was until 2007 a Member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Music Branch).