Sam Stept

Hit Song Writer of the 1920's through 1940's

Composer Sam H. Stept wrote the smash hits songs "Comes Love" and "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" During the late '20s through the early '50s his songs were recorded by jazz vocalists and the big bands. His music was also heard in dozens of movies.  Sam was born in 1897 in Odessa, Russia. At age three Sam's family immigrated to Pittsburgh where he grew up. Working for a Pittsburgh music publishing house he was a staff pianist.  He also accompanied vaudeville performers Ann Chandler, Mae West, and Jack Norworth at Pittsburgh venues.  During the early '20s Stept led a dance band in Cleveland and began composing with lyricist Bud Green. In 1928 they had their first hit song with "That's My Weakness Now" performed by vocalist Helen Kanes.  Stept and Green collaborated on tunes through the early '30s.

Stept went on the work with other lyricists including Sidney Mitchell, Ned Washington, Lew Brown, Charles Tobias, Eddie DeLange, and fellow Pittsburgher Herb Magidson.  He wrote popular tunes for the movies including "Laughing Irish Eyes" for the 1936 film of the same name, "Sweet Hearts" for Hit Parade (1937), and for the movie Private Buckaroo in 1942 the songs "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree" and "Johnny Get Your Gun." Sam wrote songs for the Broadway shows Yokel Boy (1939) and Michael Todd's Peep Show (1950). Stept concentrated on his music publishing business in the late '40s, and by the late '50s, slowed down his composition work.  Stept's songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Glenn Miller, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Henry "Red" Allen, Bunny Berigan, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Josephine Baker, and more.  

Comes Love

Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree