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Hal Leonard


Called "Most versatile Broadway composer"


Frank Loesser was born in New York City on June 29, 1910. His father was well known as a pianist and teacher, frequently accompanying the celebrated Wagnerian soprano Lilli Lehmann. His older half-brother Arthur Loesser was to become one of the greatest pianists and music educators of his day. Frank Loesser, however, never studied music formally but would become one of the most influential film and stage musical writers in history.

Loesser wrote his first song at the age of six (“The May Party”) and as a child taught himself the harmonica and then the piano. Growing up in New York, he attended the Townsend Harris High School and then City College in New York. He left college in 1930, and experimented with several jobs including newspaper advertising, process server and newspaper editor until he began to write songs and sketches for radio scripts. Loesser’s first published song was “In Love With the Memory of You”, with music by William Schuman (later Schuman would become a serious composer and the President of Julliard School of Music).

In the mid-1930’s, he collaborated with composer Irving Actman, contributing 5 songs to the Broadway show The Illustrator’s Show. While the show was unsuccessful, Loesser had been discovered by Hollywood. Universal Pictures put him under contract in 1936 to write songs for film musicals. For Universal and then Paramount Pictures, Loesser would write the scores for more than sixty films over a 3-decade period.

In Hollywood, Loesser collaborated with several composers, such as Harold Rome and Alex North, but his biggest successes came after he took over both the…

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Discography Highlights

BUSHEL AND A PECK, A Frank Loesser
Frank Music Corp.

GUYS AND DOLLS Frank Loesser
Frank Music Corp.

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