Frank Loesser Thomas L. Riis

Series:
Yale Broadway Masters
Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
01 Feb 2008
ISBN:
9780300110517
Dimensions:
320 pages: 234 x 156 x 27mm
Illustrations:
25 b&w illustrations and 45 musical examples

Perhaps best remembered as the writer and composer of the ever-popular "Guys and Dolls" and the Pulitzer Prize - winning "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", Frank Loesser was one of the great songwriters of the twentieth century. Lyricist of over 700 songs, among them such cherished favourites as "Baby, It's Cold Outside", "Once in Love with Amy", and "I Believe in You", his work has received both Tony and Academy Awards. Here Thomas Riis, in a deeply informed and lively discussion of Loesser's life and musical career, presents a critical look at one of the most important, though often overshadowed, Broadway composers. Immensely prolific and a personally magnetic man, Loesser was a major figure during the Broadway golden age that included Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, and Bernstein. Riis traces Loesser's early career as a Hollywood songwriter and a noted contributor to the war effort. He discusses in depth each of Loesser's musicals and provides a look at the legacy of a man admired as a mentor who inspired dozens of assistants, proteges, young songwriters, novice singer-actors, and aspiring producers. This book offers a concise look at Loesser's life along with an engaging examination of the entire corpus of his works.

Thomas L. Riis is the Joseph Negler Professor of Music and director of the American Music Research Center, University of Colorado at Boulder. He is a specialist in musical theatre, and he lectures and writes frequently on many topics in nineteenth- and twentieth-century African American music.

'[Riis] follows the development of Loesser's technique in detail and offers an astute and lengthy analysis of his three big hits, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, and How to Succeed in Business, even including music examples and charts of song key relationships and rhythms.' Jeremy Nicholas, Classic FM - The Magazine