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Frank Loesser

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Fresh Air Celebrates Frank Loesser's 100th Birthday.

Frank Loesser wrote the musicals Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying -- in addition to over 700 other songs. On today's Fresh Air, musical anthropologist Michael Feinstein discusses Loesser's musical legacy and plays some of his favorite Loesser tunes -- including several rare archival recordings.


A 'Most Happy' Discovery: Loesser's Demo Tapes

When Broadway musical composer Frank Loesser wrote his shows, he made demo recordings to demonstrate to the cast what the songs sound like. Those demos were discovered years later by Joseph Weiss, the copyright manager of Paul McCartney's publishing company, which acquired Loesser's publishing company in 1979.


Loesser's 'Happy Fella' Returns to Stage

The music of Frank Loesser has been celebrated and extended by his wife, Jo Sullivan Loesser, since his death in 1969. But her musical relationship with him began earlier, as she starred in the original production of Loesser's The Most Happy Fella.


Author Susan Loesser

Loesser, daughter of composer Frank Loesser, takes us behind the scenes during the golden age of the Broadway musical. Her father wrote the score for Guys and Dolls as well as the classic songs "Heart and Soul" and "Baby It's Cold Outside." Loesser's 1993 memoir of her father is "A Most Happy Fella."


"Guys and Dolls'" 50th Anniversary: Lost Recordings of Frank Loesser Available for the First Time.

When Frank Loesser wrote his shows, he made demo recordings to demonstrate to the cast what the songs should sound like. Our second guest, music archivist Joseph Weiss, discovered those demos years later. He was the copyright manager of Paul McCartney’s publishing company, which acquired Loesser’s publishing company in 1979. Along with the acquisition came hundreds of unindexed tapes. In 1992 Weiss produced a CD of the demos. (Originally aired 12/4/92)

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