Cy Coben, 87, a prolific songwriter who had a soft spot for country tunes, died May 26 of a heart attack at a hospital near his home in Atherton, Calif.
His first hit was "My Little Cousin," recorded by Peggy Lee with the Benny Goodman Orchestra in 1942. Coben quickly followed that with compositions sung by Al Jolson, Rosemary Clooney and Perry Como. Liberace and Hoagy Carmichael did rollicking versions of his "Old Piano Roll Blues," and Eddie Arnold scored with "I Want to Play House With You."
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday June 15, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 27 words Type of Material: Correction
Cy Coben obituary: A brief obituary on the death of songwriter Cy Coben in Tuesday's California section misspelled the first name of singer Eddy Arnold as Eddie.
The youngest of six children born to a cheese salesman in Jersey City, N.J., Coben spent a year at a local music academy after high school. During World War II, he served on a destroyer in the Pacific.
After an early 1950s trip to Nashville, Coben began turning out country-western tunes. Willie Nelson and Jim Reeves were among those who recorded his songs, which eventually numbered in the hundreds.
After marrying Shirley Nagel, whom he met on a blind date for tennis, he wrote "A Good Woman's Love" as a gift for her. Bluegrass legend Bill Monroe turned the song into one of his standards.