Collected here are each of the musical compositions and arrangements by Cy Walter of which his family is aware, whether published or unpublished. Prefacing some of these arrangements will be found a narrative description of the song’s genesis and history, generously provided by Frank Behrens, a New Hampshire based writer who often lectures on American popular music.
Cy can be heard performing many of these songs and piano solos on the various recordings he made, whether for commercially‑released records or on surviving private records the Walter family and others have been making available from radio broadcasts or other occasions.
The breadth and complexity of Cy’s music is readily apparent from these compositions, as is Cy’s sophistication in scoring his own sheet music. The handwritten pieces reflect Cy’s skill and ability in musical notation; particularly given the intricacies of Cy’s compositions, the detailed sheet music he wrote was essentially “publisher‑ready”, so well‑written that it need only be transferred to printing format.
Three particular notes of deep gratitude are appropriate here. First, to Michael Feinstein, who some years ago sagely suggested to Cy’s widow, Cam, that these pieces of sheet music would be better off filed with the Library of Congress, rather than residing only with Cy’s family. Cam did not immediately act on Michael’s suggestion. However, she retained the collection intact, and then, a couple of years ago, presented it to her son Mark, mentioning Michael’s recommendation. Mark then followed up by contacting Michael, who could not have been more gracious or supportive in assisting Mark in meeting this goal. And, in fact, the goal has been realized, as in 2005 Mark filed, in songbook form, all of these compositions with the Library of Congress (under call number M32.8.W23 C9 2005). Indeed, from this seed planted and nutured by Michael Feinstein came a birthing not only of the Walter family’s sharing of these compositions, but also of all of the memorabilia presented on this website (as Cam has now also made her carefully‑retained cache of Cy’s collection available).
Second, we are indebted also to Mark Eden Horowitz, Senior Music Specialist in the Music Division of the Library of Congress. When Mark Walter reached out to Mark Horowitz (at the helpful suggestion of musical historian/author Ken Bloom), and advised him of the Walter family’s desire to ensure that its collection of Cy Walter’s music was available to researchers and enthusiasts, Mr. Horowitz was delighted to help. (Mark, himself a pianist, knew of and played Cy’s music.) Mark Horowitz’ personal support in this project, and his professional role in seeing that these materials were properly received and catalogued, is keenly appreciated. Perhaps most critical, however, was Mark’s researching ‑‑ at his own initiative ‑‑ Cy Walter’s copyright filings with the Library of Congress. Thus, through Mark Horowitz’ direct efforts, were rediscovered many original compositions of Cy’s that would otherwise effectively be lost.
Finally (and certainly not least), grateful thanks are due to Alex Hassan, Virginia pianist and sheet music collector extraordinaire, for his assistance in this endeavour. Long a Cy Walter enthusiast, Alex has been one of the creative forces who has been playing Cy’s music, and thus introducing new fans to Cy’s music as the years go by.