Jack Segal (October 19, 1918 in Minneapolis, Minnesota - February 10, 2005 in Tarzana, Los Angeles, California) was a pianist and composer of popular American songs, best known for writing the lyrics to Scarlet Ribbons. His composition May I Come In? was the title track for a Blossom Dearie album. Other songs he authored or co-authored are When Sunny Gets Blue, That's the Kind of Girl I Dream Of, I Keep Going Back to Joe's (with Marvin Fisher), A Boy from Texas, a Girl from Tennessee (with John Benson Brooks & Joseph Allan McCarthy), After Me (with Blossom Dearie) and When Joanna Loved Me (with Robert Wells). It has been estimated that his songs have helped sell 65 million records.
Lyrics for the ballad that was perhaps Segal's greatest hit, Scarlet Ribbons, (with music composed by Evelyn Danzig Levine) were written in just 15 minutes in 1949, but the song languished until Segal presented it to Harry Belafonte five years later. Belafonte's recording was responsible for making the song a hit. At least 30 other artists have also recorded Scarlet Ribbons, including the Kingston Trio, Joan Baez, Sinéad O'Connor, the Lennon Sisters, Wayne Newton, Perry Como and Dinah Shore.
His music was also featured in movie and television soundtracks such as Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
In addition to the artists already mentioned, his songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Rosemary Clooney, and Nat King Cole.
Segal earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin, a master's degree from the New School for Social Research and also studied creative writing. He began his career in Paramount Pictures' music department and taught songwriting at Cal State Northridge and in University of Southern California continuing education classes. He died of natural causes at the age of 86. At the time of his death, he was married to Helen Segal, and was survived by his wife, his three sons, David, Mark and Jason, and a daughter, Jody Davis.
A Boy from Texas, a Girl from Tennessee,
Bye Bye Barbara,
Here's To The Losers,
I Keep Goin' Back To Joe's,
May I Come In?,
Scarlet Ribbons (For Her Hair),
That's the Kind of Girl I Dream Of,
Too Soon Old--Too Late Smart,
What Are You Afraid Of,
When Joanna Loved Me,
When Sunny Gets Blue