Tagged: Frank Loesser Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

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

    LOESSER IS MORE 

    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*

    *from HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING

    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. ūüôā
      The song writers often go overlooked, so it’s good to hear about one. ūüôā

      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!’

      Like

    • 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….

        Like

      • 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! ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

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

      Great post
      ‚̧

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:47 am on March 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Frank Loesser, George Marion Jr., , , , , , , lyricists, , , , Spring Is Here, spring songs, , There'll Be Another Spring   

    IT’S SPRING AGAIN 

    It’s spring again / And birds on the wing again / Start to sing again / The old melody.¬† ¬†from I¬†LOVE YOU (lyrics and music by Cole Porter)

    Yes, fellow (and gal)¬†music lovers, it’s¬†spring again — the season¬†which usually¬†comes unusually late or early every year¬†and seems to inspire the romantic¬†poet in¬†every song writer….or at least it did when the world was more¬†melodic, and¬†composers were Cole¬†Porters at heart.¬†It has been said of Porter that “even in the absence of his melodies, his words distill an unmistakable mixture of poignancy and wit that marks him as a genius of light verse.”*

    I think the same can be said, though¬†not always¬†to¬†the same¬†degree of genius, of many song writers¬†from¬†America’s Golden Age of popular music. No matter their individual personalities, their¬†songs —¬†not least,¬†their “spring songs” —¬†betray them as “rank sentimentalists” beneath the surface (in the manner of¬†Captain Renault seeing through¬†Rick in CASABLANCA).

    To the point, here’s a sampling of such songs (and their lyricists)¬†from that¬†lost¬†world, followed by clips of¬†recordings sung by voices¬†which¬†may sound¬†strange to generational¬†“foreign-ears,” but as Jimmy Stewart once¬†said of his singing Porter’s EASY TO LOVE in the film BORN TO DANCE, the song’s so good, even he couldn’t mess it up:

    SPRING IS HERE (Lorenz Hart) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFiNQObPxEk

    THERE’LL BE ANOTHER SPRING (Peggy Lee) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1utcGFiXu8

    SPRING WILL BE A LITTLE LATE THIS YEAR (Frank Loesser) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbwRgQ-I_ms

    IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING (George Marion Jr.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Svi45srqhgM

    IT MIGHT AS WELL BE SPRING (Oscar Hammerstein II) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-JLbac6EVE

    SPRING, SPRING, SPRING (Johnny Mercer) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT6RHkYViOc

    *quoted from the dust jacket of Cole Porter, selected lyrics, Robert Kimball, editor

     
    • Don Frankel 7:11 am on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Great music and the perfect day for it as it finally got warm in New York. I don’t mean to belabor the point but it is also…. “Springtime for Hitler” but we’ve already played that clip.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:44 am on March 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Don. Of all those “spring songs” and lyricists, the least known (even to old music lovers) are undoubtedly IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING/George Marion Jr.
      Marion was primarily a screenwriter of such great films as LOVE ME TONIGHT (Maurice Chevalier & Jeanette MacDonald) and THE GAY DIVORCEE (Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers), but he also partnered with Richard Whiting (father of Margaret Whiting) to write the lyrics for some very good songs. Listen closely to IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING – in the words of one author, “the song is an ideal illustration of the high standard of popular songwriting of this era.”

      Like

    • Don Frankel 6:35 am on March 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Every once in awhile I’m forced to admit to someone of my generation that I don’t know very much about the Beatles. I mean they seem like 4 rather nice fellows. It’s not like I have anything against them. It’s just that I don’t own a single one of their albums.

      I often wonder just how much the song writers of this era influenced us? I mean the tight construction, the vivid images, the wit. It couldn’t not have done anything but aide us immensely.

      Like

    • mistermuse 10:10 am on March 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t agree more, Don, if by “us” you mean those of us of a certain age. I fear that the ability to appreciate the qualities you cite has been increasingly lost “as time goes by.” Few young people today understand that if they had grown up decades ago, they would’ve been as much “into” that era’s music as they are into today’s. In a sense, they are prisoners of their culture without realizing it.

      As for the Beatles, having already “fallen in love” with the work of the above songwriters and their contemporaries by the time the B-boys came along, they didn’t impress me originally, but I eventually came to appreciate some of their songs. Still, the combination of wit and romance in such oldies as IT SEEMS TO BE SPRING has never been surpassed.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 4:49 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right Muse. I don’t mean to say anything bad about the Beatles and there is always Sinatra singing ‘Something in the way she moves’.

      But then there is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJpGHR6ofus

      and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAdM7fEZ-zY

      I’m kind of glad we got born when we did.

      Like

    • mistermuse 6:22 pm on March 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Likewise, Don.

      For those who don’t know, the songs you kindly provided clips for were written by Frank Loesser and Cole Porter (two of the few “Golden Age” composers who wrote both the lyrics and music of their songs).

      Like

  • mistermuse 8:52 pm on November 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Best Years of Our Lives, , Frank Loesser, , Heart and Soul, , , , Lazy River, , , , To Have and have Not, Young Man With A Horn   

    THE AUTOBIOGRAPHIES OF HOAGY CARMICHAEL (Book Review) 

    On this, the 114th birthday of Hoagy Carmichael (11/22/1899 – 12/26/1981), I daresay you could mention his name to 100 random people under age 60, and 99 (maybe all 100) would say, “Hoagy who?”¬† But why waste time lamenting the fate awaiting almost all “celebrities”¬†sooner or later? Fame is indeed fleeting — perhaps now more than ever — and relative¬†few are the songwriters, actors and singers (for Hoagy was all three) who¬†will be¬†remembered on¬†their triple-digit¬†birthdays by¬†succeeding generations. So it is with Bloomington, Indiana’s¬†Hoagy — but his¬†star shines¬†on, nonetheless, for those who¬†appreciate the timelessness¬†of creative magic.

    For this occasion,¬†I have pulled from my bookshelves a 1999 Hoagy¬†double-autobiography which is a republication of The Stardust Road (1946) and Sometimes¬†I Wonder (1965), with a new introduction by John Edward Hasse. I’d read this volume a few years ago, and¬†it’s as good a way as any to¬†re-visit Hoagland Howard Carmichael, a man whose music and film roles I’d known since my youth in the 1940s. As Hasse puts it in his introduction:

    Hoagy Carmichael was a true American original. First of all, there was his name…. Then there was that singing voice–the flat, Hoosier cadences–and that laconic public persona, impossible to mistake for anyone else’s. And there was his unusual career path–from law student, lawyer, and Wall Street employee to hit songwriter and celebrity via records, motion pictures, radio and television.
    But most original of all were the songs Carmichael wrote, songs that typically sound like nobody else’s.

    I love the way Hoagy begins The Stardust Road:
    The phone rang and¬†I picked it up. It was Wad Allen. “Bix died,” he said
    ¬†(referring to¬†Hoagy’s close friend and¬†legendary early jazz trumpeter, Bix Beiderbecke).
    Wad laughed a funny laugh. “I¬†wonder if it will hurt old Gabriel’s feelings to play second trumpet?” Wad asked.
    I could hear Wad’s breathing, then suddenly, but gradually getting clearer, I heard something else.
    “I can hear him,” I said. “I can hear him fine from here.”
    Over and around the sound I heard Wad’s voice.
    “Sure,” he said shakily. “So can I.”
    “I guess he didn’t die, then.”
    And so it went back and forth, until Hoagy said, “Call me up again,” I told him, “when somebody else doesn’t die.”
    But Wad had hung up. I tilted back in the chair before my desk and felt tears behind my eyes.  

    These are the kind of personal reminiscences you can only get from those who experienced them. If you’re a true lover of classic jazz and the Golden Age of popular music, you will find¬†Hoagy’s autobiographies irresistible. THE STARDUST ROAD/SOMETIMES I WONDER combo is available on Amazon.com, AbeBook.com and elsewhere.

    And speaking of combos, let’s close with two versions of Hoagy’s immortal Star Dust, the first by Louis Armstrong, whose incomparable 1931¬†rendition still sets the standard after all these years, and the second, by Hoagy himself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r94-7nJt-WM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2fbOAyNOpM

     
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