Frank Loesser – Wikipedia

american songwriter ( 1910-1969 )

musical artist
Frank Henry Loesser ( ; June 29, 1910 – July 28, 1969 ) was an american songwriter who wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway musicals Guys and Dolls, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and others. He won freestanding Tony Awards for the music and lyrics in both shows vitamin a well as shared the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the latter. He besides wrote songs for over 60 Hollywood films and for Tin Pan Alley, many of which have become standards, and was nominated for five Academy Awards for good song, winning once for “ Baby, It ‘s Cold Outside “.

early years [edit ]

Loesser was born to a jewish syndicate [ 1 ] in New York City to Henry Loesser, a pianist, [ 2 ] and Julia Ehrlich. [ 3 ] [ 4 ] He grew up in a house on West 107th Street in Manhattan. [ 5 ] His father had moved to America to avoid prussian military serve and make in his syndicate ‘s bank business. He married Bertha Ehrlich ; their son, Arthur Loesser, was born on August 26, 1894. Bertha ’ sulfur younger sister Julia arrived in America in 1898, marrying Henry in 1907 after Bertha died in childbirth. Grace, their beginning child, was born in December of that year. Their son Frank was born on June 29, 1910. [ 6 ] Loesser ‘s parents, profane german Jews, prized high reason and culture, and educated him musically in the vein of european composers. [ 4 ] But although Henry was a full-time piano teacher, he never taught his son. In a 1914 letter to Arthur, Henry wrote that the four-year-old Frank could play by ear “ any tune he ‘s heard and can spend an enormous amount of clock time at the piano. ” [ 7 ] ( Frank Loesser late collaborated with musical secretaries to ensure that his written scores reflected the music as he conceived it. ) [ 8 ] Loesser disliked his forefather ‘s refine taste in music and resisted by writing his own music and taking up the harmonica. He was expelled from Townsend Harris High School, and from there went to City College of New York. [ 6 ] He was expelled from the CCNY in 1925 after one year for failing every topic except English and gymnasium. [ 4 ] After his forefather died abruptly on July 20, 1926, Loesser was forced to seek work to support his kin. [ 9 ] His jobs included restaurant commentator, summons waiter, classified ad salesman for the New York Herald Tribune, political cartoonist for The Tuckahoe Record, sketch writer for Keith Vaudeville Circuit, knit-goods editor for Women’s Wear Daily, bid spokesperson for a small movie company, and city editor for a ephemeral newspaper in New Rochelle, New York, titled New Rochelle News. [ 4 ] [ 6 ]

early career as lyricist [edit ]

Loesser ‘s first sung credit was “ In Love with the memory of You ”, with music by William Schuman, published in 1931. [ 9 ] other early lyrical credits included two collision songs of 1934, “ Junk serviceman ” and “ I Wish I Were Twins ”, both with music by Joe Meyer and the latter with co-lyric credit rating to Eddie DeLange. “ Junk Man ” was first recorded that year by Benny Goodman with singer Mildred Bailey on vocals. [ 10 ] In the mid-1930s, he performed at The Back Drop, a night blemish on east 52nd Street, along with composer Irving Actman, while by day working on the staff of Leo Feist Inc. writing lyrics to Joseph Brandfon ‘s music at $ 100 per week. After a class, Feist had not published any of them. Loesser fared merely slightly better collaborating with the future classical composer Schuman, selling their 1931 song to Feist that would flop. Loesser described his early days of learning the craft as having “ a rendezvous with bankruptcy. ” While he dabbled in other trades, he inevitably returned to the music business. [ 4 ] [ 11 ] Loesser ‘s exercise at the Back Drop led to his first Broadway musical, The Illustrator’s Show, a 1936 revue written with Back Drop confederate Irving Actman, which lasted only four nights. The year before while performing at the Back Drop, Loesser met an draw a bead on singer, Lynn Garland ( born Mary Alice Blankenbaker ). He proposed in a September 1936 letter that included funds for a railroad ticket to Los Angeles where Loesser ‘s sign to Universal Pictures had just ended. The couple married in a judge ‘s office. [ 12 ] Loesser was offered a condense by Paramount Pictures. His first song credit there was “ Moon of Manakoora “, written with Alfred Newman for Dorothy Lamour in the film The Hurricane. [ 4 ] He wrote the lyrics for many popular songs during this period, including “ Two Sleepy People “ and “ Heart and Soul “ with Hoagy Carmichael and “ I Hear music “ with Burton Lane. He besides collaborated with composers Arthur Schwartz and Joseph J. Lilley. One of his noteworthy efforts was “ See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have “, with music by Friedrich Hollaender and sung by Marlene Dietrich in Destry Rides Again. In 1941, Loesser wrote “ I Do n’t Want to Walk Without You “ with Jule Styne, included in the 1942 film Sweater Girl and sung by Betty Jane Rhodes. [ 4 ] Irving Berlin was a huge fan of the song and once played it repeatedly, telling Loesser why he believed it was the greatest sung he wished he ‘d written. [ 13 ] Members of the western Writers of America chose the 1942 song “ Jingle Jangle Jingle “, for which Loesser wrote the lyrics, as one of the Top 100 western songs of all time. [ 14 ] He stayed in Hollywood until World War II, when he joined the Army Air Force. [ 2 ]

World War II era [edit ]

During World War II, he enlisted into the United States Army Air Forces and continued to write lyrics for films and single songs. [ 2 ] Loesser created the popular war song “ Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition “ ( 1942 ) inspired by words of navy chaplain Howell Forgy. [ 15 ] Loesser wrote other songs at the request of the arm forces, including “ What Do You Do in the Infantry ? ” and “ The Ballad of Rodger Young “ ( 1943 ). [ 2 ] He besides wrote “ They ’ re Either Too Young or Too Old ” for the 1943 film Thank Your Lucky Stars. [ 4 ] In 1944, Loesser worked as the lyricist on the little-known melodious, Hi Yank!, performed by and for U.S. soldiers afield, with music by Alex North. Hi Yank! was produced by the U.S. Army Office of Special Services as a “ blueprint extra ” to boost the morale of soldiers located where USO shows could not visit. The “ blueprint ” was a book containing a musical script with instructions for staging the read using materials locally available to deployed soldiers. According to a document at the U.S. Army Centre for Military History, a touring party formed in Italy was slated to produce the musical. [ 16 ] Hi Yank! was generally forgotten until 2008 when the PBS History Detectives researched the case of a long-saved radio receiver transcription disk. [ 17 ] The disk has two songs and a promotional announcement for the indicate ‘s Fort Dix premier in August 1944, when the phonograph record was broadcast there. [ 18 ]

Broadway and late film career [edit ]

Guys and Dolls, Libretto and Vocal book, printed by Music Theatre International, 1978 In 1948, Broadway producers Cy Feuer and Ernest H. Martin asked Loesser to write music and lyrics to George Abbott ‘s book for an adaptation of the Brandon Thomas bet Charley’s Aunt. The musical, Where’s Charley? ( 1948 ), starred Ray Bolger and ran for 792 performances. A movie translation released in 1952. besides in 1948, Loesser sold to MGM the rights to “ Baby, It ‘s Cold Outside “, a sung he wrote in 1944 and performed informally at parties with his then wife Lynn. The studio apartment included it in the 1949 movie Neptune’s Daughter, and the song became a huge hit. While Garland was harebrained at Loesser for selling what she considered “ their song ”, [ 19 ] it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. His next musical, Guys and Dolls ( 1950 ), based on the stories of Damon Runyon, was again produced by Feuer and Martin. Guys and Dolls became a hit and earned Loesser a Tony Award. [ 20 ] Bob Fosse called Guys and Dolls “ the greatest american musical of all time. ” [ 4 ] A film version was released in 1955, starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, and Vivian Blaine. In 1950, Loesser started Frank Music Corporation. initially created as a intend of controlling and publishing his employment, the ship’s company finally supported other writers, including Richard Adler, Jerry Ross, and Meredith Willson. [ 9 ] Loesser besides started the theatrical license company Music Theatre International in 1952. Frank Music and MTI were sold to CBS Music in 1976. [ 21 ] CBS in turn sold Frank Music to Paul McCartney ‘s MPL Communications holding company in 1979. [ 22 ] In 1952, Loesser wrote the mark for the film Hans Christian Andersen. The movie ‘s songs included “ Wonderful Copenhagen “, “ anywhere I Wander ”, “ Thumbelina “, and “ Inchworm “. [ 9 ] He wrote the reserve, music, and lyrics for his following two musicals, The Most Happy Fella ( 1956 ) and Greenwillow ( 1960 ). Around the begin of 1957, Garland and Loesser divorced, and Loesser began a relationship with Jo Sullivan, who had played the fictional character of Rosabella in Fella. He wrote the music and lyrics for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying ( 1961 ), which ran for 1,417 performances, won the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and received another Tony and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. [ 23 ] Pleasures and Palaces ( 1965 ), the last Loesser musical produced during his life, closed during out-of-town tryouts .

late liveliness and end [edit ]

At the meter of his death, Loesser was composing the book, music and lyrics for Señor Discretion Himself, a musical interpretation of a Budd Schulberg short floor. A version was presented in 1985 at the New York Musical Theatre Works. With the patronize of his widow Jo Loesser, a completed interpretation was presented at the Arena Stage, Washington, D.C. in 2004, reworked by the group Culture Clash and conductor Charles Randolph-Wright. [ 24 ] When he was asked why he did not write more shows, Loesser responded that “ I don ’ triiodothyronine write slowly. It ’ randomness good that I throw out fast. ” The New York Times confirmed his hard working habits and wrote that Loesser “ was consumed by nervous department of energy and as a consequence slept only four hours a nox, spending the rest of the fourth dimension working. ” [ 4 ] Loesser, a heavy smoker, died on July 28, 1969 of lung cancer at historic period 59 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan ‘s East Harlem neighborhood. [ 25 ]

personal life [edit ]

Lynn Garland and Frank Loesser divorced around the beginning of 1957 after 21 years of marriage. [ 26 ] They had two children in concert : John Loesser, who works in dramaturgy presidency, [ 27 ] and Susan Loesser, an writer who wrote her father ‘s biography A Most Remarkable Fella: Frank Loesser and the Guys and Dolls in His Life: A Portrait by His Daughter ( 1993, 2000, ISBN 0634009273 ). He married his second wife Jo Sullivan ( born Elizabeth Josephine Sullivan ) on April 29, 1959 [ 28 ] after being introduced to her by Lynn. Jo Sullivan had played a lead in The Most Happy Fella. [ 2 ] They had two children. Emily is a performer who is married to actor Don Stephenson. [ 29 ] Hannah was an artist in oils, pastels and blend media ; she died of cancer on January 25, 2007. [ 30 ] Jo died on April 28, 2019, at senesce 91. [ 31 ]

celebrated songs [edit ]

The Ballad of Rodger Young (




) Performed by the West Point Cadet Glee Club, 1959 .

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Loesser was the lyricist of over 700 songs. [ 32 ]

War songs
Broadway musicals
Films and Tin Pan Alley

Awards and bequest [edit ]

Loesser received Tony Awards for music and lyrics for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Guys and Dolls. He was nominated for the Tony Award for book, music and lyrics for The Most Happy Fella and as Best Composer for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Loesser was awarded a Grammy Award in 1961 [ 23 ] for Best Original Cast Show Album for How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Loesser is regarded as one of the more talented writers of his earned run average, noted for writing witty lyrics and clever musical devices. He besides introduced a complex artistic stylus that challenged shaped the compositional approach of Broadway musicals. He was besides noted for using classical music forms, such as echoic counterpoint ( “ Fugue for Tinhorns ” in Guys and Dolls ). [ 9 ] Loesser won the 1949 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, “ Baby, It ‘s cold Outside ”. He was nominated four more times :

“Dolores” from Las Vegas Nights (1941)
“They’re Either Too Young or Too Old” from Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)
“I Wish I Didn’t Love You So” from The Perils of Pauline (1947) (a hit that year for both Vaughn Monroe and the film’s star Betty Hutton)
“Thumbelina” (1953)

The PBS objective Heart & Soul: The Life and Music of Frank Loesser was released in 2006. [ 33 ] 42nd Street Moon artistic director Greg MacKellan developed Once in Love with Loesser in 2013 as one of his melodious tributes dedicated to exploring and celebrating the make of some of Broadway ‘s great songwriters. The performance was built around the three stages of Loesser ‘s career : Tin Pan Alley, Hollywood, and Broadway. Jason Graae performed “ once in Love with Amy ” and The King’s New Clothes; Emily Skinner sang Cleo ‘s “ Ooh ! My metrical foot ”, and Amy ‘s “ Somebody, Somewhere “ ( from The Most Happy Fella ) ; Ashley Jarrett performed “ If I Were a Bell “ ; and Ian Leonard provided a bantering rendition of “ Sing a tropical sung ”. [ 34 ] Loesser, contrasted to his brother Arthur in a humorous pun on the principle of “ the less of two evils “, was reportedly once referred to as “ the malefic of two Loessers “. [ 35 ]

References [edit ]


  • Cogdill, John L. (2010). American National Biography.
  • Maiers, Claire D. (2009). Musicians and Composers of the Twentieth Century.
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Category : music

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