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  • Born

    29 June 1910

  • Died

    28 July 1969 (aged 59)

Frank Henry Loesser (June 29, 1910, New York City – July 26, 1969, New York City) was an American composer and lyricist. He died of lung cancer at age 59.

During World War II, he wrote 1942's "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition". Formerly a successful lyricist in collaboration with other composers, this was the first song for which Loesser composed the melody in addition to the lyric.

Loesser was awarded a Grammy Award in 1961 for Best Original Cast Show Album for How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying.

He wrote the following Broadway musicals:

* Where's Charley? (1948) (starring Ray Bolger)
o "Once in Love With Amy"
* Guys and Dolls (1950)
o "A Bushel and a Peck"
o "Fugue for Tinhorns"
o "I'll Know"
o "If I Were A Bell", a favorite of Miles Davis, featured in recordings with John Coltrane
o "Luck Be a Lady Tonight"
* The Most Happy Fella (1956)
o "Standing on the Corner"
o "Big D"
o "Somebody Somewhere"
o "Joey, Joey"
* Greenwillow (1960)
* How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (1961)
o "I Believe In You"
o "The Brotherhood Of Man"
* Pleasures and Palaces (1965)

Some well-known songs he composed for movies and Tin Pan Alley:

* "Baby, It's Cold Outside" from Neptune's Daughter (1949). This was originally a song which Loesser and his wife Lynn (born Blankenbaker) performed at parties for the private entertainment of friends. They also recorded the song for Mercury Records. Under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to supply a full score for Neptune's Daughter, Loesser included this song which he had created in 1944, originally for their housewarming party.
* "Heart and Soul" (from the Paramount Short Subject A Song is Born) – lyrics
* "I Don't Want to Walk Without You" (from the Paramount Pictures motion picture Sweater Girl)
* "Inch Worm" (from the motion picture Hans Christian Andersen)
* "(I'd Like to Get You on a) Slow Boat to China"
* "Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year" (from the motion picture Christmas Holiday)
* "Thumbelina" (from Hans Christian Andersen)
* "Two Sleepy People" (music by Hoagy Carmichael, 1938)
* "What are You Doing New Year's Eve?"
* "Wonderful Copenhagen" (from Hans Christian Andersen), which is now the official song of the city of Copenhagen.

He was also the author of "The Ballad of Rodger Young".

2006 saw the release of the PBS documentary, Heart & Soul: The Life and Music of Frank Loesser.

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