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  • mistermuse 7:21 pm on June 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Broadway musicals, , Guys and Dolls, , Less is more, , Sit Down You're Rocking The Boat, song writers, songs from musicals,   


    Yet do much less, so much less….Well, less is more. –Robert Browning, from his poem titled Andrea del Sarto

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    The phrase “Less is more” was popularized by architect Ludwig Miles van der Rohe (1886-1969), but goes back to at least 1855, when Robert Browning penned it in the poem quoted above. I bring it up here because today is the birthday (6/29/1910-7/25/69) of a Loesser who is more: Frank Loesser, a ‘more better’ song and lyric writer than the past majority of his contemporaries….worthy, in other words, of being remembered on this day.

    In the spirit of “less is more,” I’m going to skip over the particulars of the Loesser life (if interested, here’s a link to bio info: http://frankloesser.com/bio/ ). I also recommend a delightful Loesser biography written by his daughter, Susan Loesser, titled A MOST REMARKABLE FELLA: Frank Loesser and the Guys and Dolls in His Life.

    Here, I would like to spotlight songs from Loesser musicals I particularly enjoy, starting with this rockin’ tune from my favorite Loesser musical, GUYS AND DOLLS:

    Continuing, how’s about we MAKE A MIRACLE (from the musical WHERE’S CHARLEY?):

    Perhaps I’m pressing my luck to squeeze in one more song, but I BELIEVE IN YOU*


    My business here is done. I hope I’ve succeeded in entertaining you….with really trying.



    • calmkate 4:32 am on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      a great selection, don’t recall hearing his name before so thanks for the ed!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:08 am on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Kate. Frankly, since you’re unfamiliar with Loesser, I should let you know (to avoid being a guesser) that his name is pronounced LESSER.

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 3:58 pm on June 30, 2019 Permalink

          ha ha yes they pronounced it in that first video … coz I was saying loser, a most confusing name!

          Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 8:35 am on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the entertainment. 🙂
      The song writers often go overlooked, so it’s good to hear about one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Carmen 8:55 am on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Good stuff, mistermuse!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:20 am on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Carmen. I considered titling this post CHILDREN OF A LOESSER GOD, but decided that Loesser Is More….more or less.

        Liked by 1 person

    • smbabbitt 12:11 pm on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great post! Loesser could hardly be called unsung (ouch), but, as in the case of Lorenz Hart, we have to say repeatedly, “He wrote that, too”?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:00 pm on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, smb. I also like the comparison with Cole Porter which is made in the opening clip. Like Porter, Loesser wrote both words and music, but unlike Porter, he was solely a lyricist when he started. In 1942 his first attempt at writing both was the blockbuster WWII hit PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE AMMUNITION, which probably qualifies as one of those “He wrote that, too?” songs you mentioned.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 4:54 pm on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I actually was already familiar with Loesser. As a kid I learned the names of all the Broadway musicals’ writers and song writers. I loved the first video clip you shared. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 5:02 pm on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      You’re very welcome, Elizabeth. Sounds like you were brought up on the ‘right note!’


    • Rosaliene Bacchus 8:45 pm on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Didn’t know the name, but I like his music.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:59 pm on June 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for your comment. Fame is ephemeral for song writers of his era unless you’re George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and a few others. That’s why I occasionally publish posts such as this, to re-recognize some of the men and women who wrote the music which past generations loved just as much as the ‘now’ generation loves its music.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mlrover 9:55 am on July 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, this brought back so many delicious memories of when I was much younger and did musical comedy. One of my favorites to sing was Adelaide’s Lament.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:44 am on July 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        How wonderful that you did musical comedy, mlrover….but you’ve been holding out on us — I just checked your bio on your blog and didn’t find any mention of it. I bet Vivian Blaine had nothing on you when it comes to singing ADELAIDE’S LAMENT….


      • mlrover 2:24 pm on July 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Your check is in the mail for that lovely compliment. I played her more sultry and not so whiny. I never realized I left out the theater history. Thanks for the suggestion!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 1:41 pm on July 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for all the info on Frank Loesser. I know his music, but am ashamed to say I didn’t know his name. Thanks for the biographical links, too! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • luisa zambrotta 6:29 am on July 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great post

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Broadway musicals, , , hocus-pocus, , , , LAURA, Lindy Hop, , , SWEET LORRAINE,   


    The above title (a contraction of HELLZAPOPPIN, a 1941 movie based on a long-running Broadway show of the same name) sets the stage for letter L in our fem song series. Ere we proceed, just for the L of it, let’s pop in on the film’s frenetic LINDY HOP dance number:

    Speaking of numbers, I’m breaking L up into two parts — due, not just to an abundance of Lady L songs to choose from, but to previously needing to combine two letters (H-I) into one post. Part II will get the focus back on locus, becoming opus #12 of this hocus-pocus, once again matching the post with the corresponding letter of the alphabet.

    Our first Lady L is the title song of the 1944 film noir classic LAURA, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, who Must Have Been A Beautiful (November) Baby*. Believe it or not, Mercer wrote what has to be a record 20+ songs with a girl’s name* in the title — none more haunting than….

    We conclude Part One with the indelible SWEET LORRAINE (instrumental version):

    If you want to ‘sing along’ with the song (assuming your family and/or neighbors won’t object/protest), here are the lyrics:


    • * * * * * * *  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    • Johnny Mercer was born November 18, 1909. YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL BABY was one of his many hit songs.
    • Mercer “girl’s name” list (#2 after Cinderella signifies two songs with that name in the title):

    Cinderella (2)








    • arekhill1 1:48 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:39 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “the face in the misty light. Footsteps that you hear down the hallway.” Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, the very beautiful Gene Tierney, the great portrait and that haunting refrain.

      Laura. “I’m going to call the police.”
      Detective MacPherson. “But I am the police.”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:23 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Great song. Great film (with a GREAT cast). Here’s another quote I like from the film: “For a charming, intelligent girl, you’ve certainly surrounded yourself with a remarkable collection of dopes.” –Dana Andrews (as Detective McPherson)


    • scifihammy 9:15 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      And the kids today think they can dance? I bet they couldn’t do half the things in that first clip!
      Lovely collection of L songs 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:27 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I get out of breath just watching that Lindy Hop clip. But SWEET LORRAINE (as played by the Jimmy Noone Orchestra) is the calm after the storm, in a manner of speaking — ‘liquid’ notes for the soul.

        Liked by 1 person

        • scifihammy 2:12 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink

          I have a record of Nat King Cole singing it beautifully and I also like Frank Sinatra’s version. 🙂 Liquid notes for the soul indeed 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Mark Scheel 10:47 pm on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse–whatever happened to those good ol’ days of song and dance? While waiting in the doctor’s office reception area, I watched three graphic, bloody, brutal murders on a big screen (some police procedural show). That’s today’s entertainment? Since it’s oldsters in the urology clinic, why couldn’t they show clips from Hellzapoppin?


      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:18 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        One of the things I like about most old movies is the great character actors, whose names (and faces) are still familiar to Golden Age film buffs. In HELLZAPOPPIN’, these include the likes of Mischa Auer, Hugh Herbert, Elisha Cook Jr., and even Shemp Howard (of Three Stooges fame).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joseph Nebus 10:57 pm on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I am delighted by this roster of women’s names in Johnny Mercer songs.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:39 am on November 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciate that, Joseph, because it took some time to compile that roster. By the way, I ‘refrained’ from including MAY and JUNE in the list because, although they are girl’s names, Mercer didn’t use them as such in his songs QUEEN OF THE MAY, JUNE BRIDE, and JUNE COMES AROUND EVERY YEAR.


    • tref 2:08 am on May 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I am watching Laura on TCM at this very moment! Great movie. Beautiful song.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:31 am on May 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve seen LAURA, but didn’t stay up last night to watch it again because I had to get my beauty rest. It IS a great movie, as is the movie which preceded it on TCM which I’ve seen at least five times, DODSWORTH. I did stay up for that one, because if I got too much beauty rest, my wife might swoon at the sight of me (she can barely stand to look at me as it is).


  • mistermuse 12:01 am on October 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Broadway musicals, , , Irish ballad, , , Katinka, Kay, KKK, , musical history, sheet music, show tunes   


    So far in this feminine song series, we haven’t embraced a single Gershwin tune. Let us korrect that egregious omission right now with the title song from the 1926 Broadway musical OH, KAY! OK, it’s true that the hit song to come out of that show wasn’t Oh, Kay!, but SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME….unfortunately, George and Ira didn’t title that hit song Someone To Watch Over Kay, so this selection is what it is — Oh, Kay?

    Next, we have a 78 rpm record that I’ve had for many years;  I’ve long gotten such a Kick out of it that my Kazatski is Kaputski. Oy vey! That hotski music is too much for me:

    From the ridiculous to the sublime, our third (and final) K song is so beautifully sad that you’d swear it’s an Irish ballad….but it was actually written by an American of German ancestry in 1875, when, I might note, sheet music was the only way of taking songs home (even player piano rolls hadn’t been invented yet). Anyway, if you cry easily* — faith and begorrah, there be nothing wrong with that — keep the Kleenex Klose by.

    *You may now dry your eyes (I will discretely pretend not to notice).

    • scifihammy 8:26 am on October 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Fun songs (tho the first won’t play for me here). I loved my Dad’s old 78 records. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:46 am on October 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        How about this Gershwin substitute for the one you can’t get:

        Liked by 2 people

        • scifihammy 9:49 am on October 27, 2017 Permalink

          Oh how lovely! Two of my favourite singers! Thank you 🙂
          – and why is it no-one can sing like this any more?

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 1:55 pm on October 27, 2017 Permalink

          No one sings like that anymore because that type of singing has been lost in translation (from that generation to succeeding generations). But all is not lost — we can still hope that Trump will make singing great again.

          Liked by 1 person

      • SoundEagle 12:30 am on November 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Hi scifihammy,

        Are you from Australia? The first video does plays for SoundEagle. It brings back a lot of nostalgia.

        Thank you, Mister Muse, for the music. Happy November to all of you!

        Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 6:31 pm on October 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Needed this in Charlottesville, Ok, Ok, Ok.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:31 pm on October 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Maybe it’s just me, BroadBlogs, but I don’t get the connection between this post and Charlottesville….though I’m sure we agree that what happened there was far from “Ok.”

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 6:58 pm on October 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Years ago my wife and I went to a re-production of Oh Kay. Not the original I’m not that old but the dancing and the music were out of this world. Like any great theater experience, if I close my eyes I can even see it.

      And I always thought I’ve Come to Take You Home Again Kathleen was as Irish as any song ever. And, a nice addition there with Sinatra and Judy Garland. So let me add a little something too. And, while everyone who is everyone has recorded this song this is my favorite.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:42 pm on October 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I appreciate hearing about your “Oh Kay” experience, Don. Living in NYC, you’ve probably had a number of such experiences. Thanks also for the Nancy Wilson clip — her rendition of “Someone To Watch Over Me” is indeed one of the best I’ve heard.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 3:59 pm on June 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Broadway musicals, June Is Bustin' Out All Over, , , Oklahoma, , , South Pacific, The Lady Is A Tramp, The Sound of Music   


    I don’t believe that a writer does something wonderful spontaneously. I believe it’s the result of years of living, of study, reading, his very personality and temperament. At one particular moment all these things come together and the artist ‘expresses’ himself. –Richard Rodgers

    • * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Of all the songs Richard Rodgers wrote, first with Lorenz Hart and then Oscar Hammerstein II, few are more obscure than one of Rodgers & Hart’s earliest, Wasn’t It Great? Yet, as I surveyed the list of their far better known titles: Manhattan, My Heart Stood Still, Thou Swell, Blue Moon (their only one published as a popular song, not for a Broadway show or movie score) and hundreds more, no title seemed more fitting to remember his 113th birthday (June 28, 1902) than Wasn’t It Great?.

    Richard Rodgers wasn’t just another songwriter coming of age in that dynamic era of social, cultural and artistic change known as the “Roaring Twenties.” When composer Rodgers and lyricist Hart first teamed up in 1919, American popular music was mostly “a thing of trite phrase and clichĂ©, of cloying Victorian sentiment, a tired and hackneyed commodity” (to quote biographer Frederick Nolan). “Moreover,” as Hart said in a 1928 interview, “the old love song….of the then popular waltz was usually a quiet exemplification of innocent amatory music; but today the barbaric quality of jazz dance music demands expressions of love that are much more dynamic and physical.”

    Over the evolving years, Rodgers composed songs for 42 Broadway musicals, of which 19 film versions were made. Even a partial list of shows is beyond impressive: THE GARRICK GAIETIES, SPRING IS HERE, LOVE ME TONIGHT, BABES IN ARMS, PAL JOEY, OKLAHOMA!, SOUTH PACIFIC, CAROUSEL, THE KING AND I, STATE FAIR (which included the 1946 Oscar-winning song It Might As Well Be Spring). As much as any composer from the 1920s to 1960s, Richard Rodgers WAS the Sound of Music.

    It is especially worth noting that Rodgers accomplished all this despite the completely different styles and personalities of his two principal collaborators. Of Lorenz Hart (who died in 1943), Rodgers said, “Larry was much gayer and lighter than Oscar. He was inclined to be cynical, where Oscar never was. Oscar was more sentimental and so the music had to be more sentimental. It wouldn’t have been natural for Larry to write ‘Oklahoma!’ any more than it would have been natural for Oscar to write ‘Pal Joey’.”

    And so I close with a Richard Rodgers song written with each collaborator (the first with lyrics by Hart):


    • Michaeline Montezinos 1:04 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse, I tried to watch and listen to Frank and Ella sing the Lady is a Tramp. I must tell you it was a strange video since it seemed to have an echo of the same song while they performed. I do not think it was my computer but then who knows. I will attempt to view and hear the second video link right now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 1:23 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Well, this is odd. I could hear what I think is Ella is singing the “scat” versoin of a song. Then Frank Sinatra was on singing another song. Not June is Bustin’ Out All Over although I could see the orchestra and the members playing. Maybe Youtube was playing a true “mix” of Frank and Ella’s songs. Now I can hear Ella singing solo with an orchestra behind her. I know it is not April fools Day but I am a little confused.

        I enjoyed reading the stories behind the composers of Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II and Lorenz Hart. I had no knowledge of Frederick Nolan before but I think his opinion of music of that time period is very accurate. Now I hear the song about the Yellow Basket which is the one song my Daddy sang to me while I sat on his lap at a tender age. One of my favorite songs since the memory of that experience is still with me after many years. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:09 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I just listened to both videos again and noticed nothing wrong, so I assume any problems are at your end, Michaeline. You might try getting your hubby to listen to the videos – as they say down Mexico way, two heads are better than Juan.

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 9:45 am on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Barbaric quality of jazz…how quaint.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:06 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If the strange new music called jazz sounded barbaric to 1920s ears, one can only imagine what hip hop and rap would have sounded like. They might have thought jazz wasn’t so barbaric after all.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 3:30 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        I believe you are correct in saying it is my computer that did not work correctly. But I did get to hear both of the songs and I enjoy them. Did you happen to read my second comment? I wrote to thank you for all the information about the duo of Rogers and Hammerstein. I learned about Frederick Nolan and Lorenzo Hart.. Maybe my demon computer did not let you read my second reply. It has been a strange week of lost or misplaced items. I gave my husband two cards to mail. However, after putting them both in the car he came upstairs to check with me. Apparently my brother’s birthday card had vanished. After looking everywhere, including the car, our apartment and the parking lot, it seemed to have vanished.. Finally he gave up and went on to the store. Next to disappear was my new little flashlight. Again we searched every drawer and underneath all of our furniture and in the corners. No flashlight! Same thing had happened with small kitchen items that were nowhere to be found.
        did anyone write a song about missing stuff?

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:27 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know of a song about missing items, but I wrote a poem titled THE CASE OF THE MISSING SOCK which I posted on May 9. As for missing stuff in general, I think the older we get, the more we tend to forget where we leave things, which probably accounts for 99% of “vanished” items. You’ll get used to it by the time you’re my age, Michaeline.

      As for Frederick Nolan, I got his quote from his book titled simply LORENZ HART, a biography which I’m sure you can buy online, if interested.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michaeline Montezinos 6:47 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        mistermuse thank you for reminding me that I am getting older. How old can you be? I think there are not many years between your birthday and mine.Are you claiming to be the descendant of Methusalah? Hee! Hee! Hee!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Michaeline Montezinos 7:10 pm on June 29, 2015 Permalink

          Well thumbs up for my computer! I tried to watch the videos again and this time it worked. Yes, indeed, and I enjoyed Ella and Frank singing THE LADY IS A TRAMP… I also listened to Tony Bennett and Marianna do a lively version of the tramp song. June is Bustin’ Out All Over was stupendous. I recognized the women sopranos and one of the tenors from the British opera company based in London. Yes, I like opera and do not fall asleep while attending these magnificent events. Thank you again, mistermuse for your wonderful contributions to our musical library. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • Don Frankel 6:08 am on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting point is how Rodgers changed his music to fit his lyricist. I never would have thought anyone ever did that or could.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:39 am on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      That’s something Cole Porter never had to deal with because he wrote both the music and lyrics. Of course, Irving Berlin did the same, but Porter’s lyrics were wittier, like Hart’s, whereas Berlin’s lyrics were more sentimental, like Hammerstein’s.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 1:33 pm on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting to get more background on these great talents.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 3:15 pm on June 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I applaud you for being interested in the music (and its makers) of a time which has been left in the dust of our own times, but has not been diminished by circumstances beyond its control.

      Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 10:36 pm on July 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I enjoyed reading this about Rodgers – lots I didn’t know. 🙂 Songs were just so much more musical back then!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 10:19 pm on January 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      As I have a moment (or need to take one), I will be back to troll your archives. Please don’t make it mean anything other than competing to-dos if I “like” but do not comment. ALL of your stuff is wonderful.
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
      ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:13 am on January 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you, and no problem with “like” but not comment. I often have to do the same, as there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything.


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