Sonny Skyler

Sunny Skylar (October 11, 1913 – February 2, 2009) was an American composer, singer, lyricist, and music publisher. He was born Selig Sidney Shaftel in Brooklyn, New York, one of four children, to Sarah and Jacob Shaftel (or Schaftel), Jewish immigrants from Russia. His father sold knit goods. In the 1940s, he moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was a headliner at hotels such as The Flamingo and the El Rancho, among others.

As a singer, he appeared with a number of big bands, including those led by Ben Bernie, Paul Whiteman, Abe Lyman, George Hall and Vincent Lopez. It was Lopez who changed the singer's professional name from Sonny Schuyler to Sunny Skylar. After the end of the big band era, Skylar continued to sing in nightclubs and theaters until 1952.

He was married four times: Joyce Coleman, 1942, Manhattan, NY; Christine Belanger, 1969, Las Vegas, NV (divorced, 1971); Jari Dee Rheinick, 1974, Las Vegas, NV (divorced after one month); Jacqueline Marlene Williams Trent, 1979, Las Vegas, NV; to whom he remained married until her death in 2008).

He died in Las Vegas on February 2, 2009 and was buried in Davis Memorial Park, Las Vegas. His grave marker shows his name as Sunny Skylar.

Birth and Death Data: Born October 11, 1913 (Brooklyn), Died February 2, 2009 (Las Vegas)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1940 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: songwriter, composer, lyricist

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor PBS-042538 10-in. 2/24/1940 How did I know Vincent Lopez ; Sunny Skylar ; Suave Swing Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-051522 10-in. 6/19/1940 Call me happy Earl Hines Orchestra Jazz/dance band lyricist  
Victor BS-054699 10-in. 8/8/1940 Fifteen minute intermission Four King Sisters ; Alvino Rey Female vocal quartet, with jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor BS-060990 10-in. 3/20/1941 Just a little bit south of North Carolina Mitchell Ayres ; Fashions-in-Music ; Mary Ann Mercer Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-062744 10-in. 3/7/1941 Just a little bit south of North Carolina Four Belles ; Dick Todd Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band and female vocal quartet songwriter  
Victor BS-067974 10-in. 10/6/1941 Temporarily mine Joan Merrill Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-071437 10-in. 10/1/1941 I wanna go back to Texas Mitchell Ayres ; Johnny Bond ; Fashions-in-Music Jazz/dance band, with female-male vocal duet and vocal ensemble composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Skyler, Sonny," accessed May 28, 2024,

Skyler, Sonny. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from

"Skyler, Sonny." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 28 May 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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