born on 21/8/1907 in New York City, NY, United States
died on 2/7/2007 in Westport, CT, United States
Hy Zaret (August 21, 1907 – July 2, 2007)  was an American Tin Pan Alley lyricist and composer best known as the co-author of the 1955 hit "Unchained Melody", one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century.
Zaret was born Hyman Harry Zaritsky in New York City and attended West Virginia University and Brooklyn Law School, where he received an LLB.
He scored his first major success in 1937, when he teamed up with Saul Chaplin and Sammy Cahn to co-write the pop standard "Dedicated to You." The early 1940s brought some collaborations with Alex C. Kramer and Joan Whitney, including 1941's "It All Comes Back to Me Now" and the socially conscious, WWII-themed "My Sister and I." Zaret also wrote lyrics for an English translation of the French Resistance song "La Complainte du Partisan" ("The Song of the French Partisan"), which was recorded by Leonard Cohen and others as "The Partisan". In 1944 he and Lou Singer wrote the popular hit novelty song "One Meatball", based on a song popular among Harvard undergraduates.
Zaret's biggest success, though, was "Unchained Melody," a song he co-wrote with film composer Alex North for the 1955 prison film Unchained (hence the title), which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. No fewer than three versions of the songby Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, and Roy Hamilton -- hit the Top Ten that year, with Hibbler's version ranking as the best-known for the next ten years. The song was also recorded successfully by Jimmy Young and Liberace, and covered by countless others, but the Righteous Brothers' 1965 versiongiven a supremely romantic production by Phil Spector -- became the definitive take, reaching the pop Top Five. That recording was revived in 1990 thanks to its inclusion in the film, Ghost, and nearly reached the Top Ten all over again. Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke & Roy Orbison also recorded versions of the song.
Zaret turned his attention to educational children's music in the late 1950s, collaborating with Lou Singer on a six-album series called "Ballads for the Age of Science"; different volumes covered space, energy and motion, experiments, weather, and nature. The records were quite successful, and the songs "Why Does the Sun Shine" (aka "The Sun Is a Mass of Incandescent Gas") and A Shooting Star Is Not a Star were even covered by alternative rock band They Might Be Giants in 1994 and 2001, respectively. (source: Steve Huey, Allmusic)
- William Stirrat whose discredited claim to have written "Unchained Melody" under the pen name Hy Zaret has been widely circulated.
- Martin, Douglas, Hy Zaret, 99, Tin Pan Alley Lyricist, Is Dead, New York Times, July 3, 2007. URL accessed on 2007-07-03.
- 2.0 2.1 "Song for Hard Times", Harvard Magazine, MayJune 2009
- Dowling, Stephen, Brothers in good company with hits, BBC News, November 6, 2003. URL accessed on 2007-07-03.
- Why Does The Sun Shine?. This Might Be a Wiki: The TMBG Knowledge Base. Retrieved on 2008-08-23.
- ASCAP Foundation Living Video Archive interview Hy Zaret
- Zaret Bio at MPL Communications
- Story of Unchained Melody at MPL Communications
- Michael Feinstein Foundation
- Argosy Music Corp.
- Publishing administrator for "Unchained Melody"
- Hy Zaret at MusicBrainz