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An Evening With Frank Loesser

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Album Review

An Evening with Frank Loesser contains performances associated with three Frank Loesser shows — Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, and How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. Loesser has a good, sometimes gruff voice and puts the material across well while accompanying himself on piano. These are early versions — lyrics changed and songs were replaced before these scores got to Broadway — so this is, in a sense, an album for Broadway scholars, although mere fans will have a good time, too. The material from The Most Happy Fella, dating from three years before the actual production, features Maxene Andrews of the Andrews Sisters and is previously unreleased.

Customer Reviews

I've Fallen in Love

I first heard Frank Loesser's raspily beautiful drawl this morning on NPR's 'Fresh Air with Terri Gross'. For the remainder of the day I periodically called to my mind his name (just to make sure I wouldn't forget it). Upon getting home I immediately sought out and then bought this album on itunes. In a world filled with so many mediocre performers, I am beyond elated when I stumble upon an entertainer who is that most rare of things - genuine. Talent, or singing ability as it were, means little to a production if it lacks heart, 'An Evening With Frank Loesser' lacks neither. Despite what any critic may say, his voice is as sweet as the smell of sawdust, and his compositions, I don't think anyone would argue, are thoughtful, entertaining, and timeless. This record is money well spent in my book.

I've fallen in love, too

I also heard of this CD on NPR's "Fresh Air" (see above review), but I already knew Mr. Loesser's name and work. I grew up listening to "Guys & Dolls" and "A Most Happy Fella." Hearing him sing these songs as he originally wrote them, with that lovely, husky voice of his... this such a treat! I don't care that the lyrics changed, ultimately; I don't care that he wasn't singing for any audience other than producers; I love this for exactly what it is. The composer, presenting his work as he saw it and felt it. My favorite cut is "Sue Me" from G&D - sung as a ballad, slow and sweet. For me, there was always something about the song that felt exactly as he presents it, and certainly not as Sinatra delivered it in the movie. It's wonderful. I'd recommend this CD to anyone who loves musicals. Sometimes it pays to return to the source material, and this is definitely one of those times. Thank you, Terri Gross! Thank you iTunes!


For a real treat, take heed of the original concept of "Most Happy Fella" as Frank Loesser wanted it done...all music. He took several singers into a New York studio and recorded the first act, which then went into an archive, only to be found by his widow Jo Sullivan many years later. There was no note about who the singers were! The real surprise is that Maxene Andrews was Frank's first choice for the role of the waitress, so she's singing in much of the recording, and has her first recorded solo in "Ohh! My Feet!" Not only do we now get to hear Frank's dear, husky voice...but, we get to hear how Maxene sounded waaaaay back then. FYI, Maxene was the high harmony of The Andrews Sisters.


Born: June 29, 1910 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

A respected Broadway name due to his Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, a composer who wrote half a dozen wartime songs including "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition," a Hollywood lyric-writer for several 1940s films -- it appears that Frank Loesser had several careers packed into his one life. Born into a musical family in New York City in 1910, Loesser refused formal training, however, deciding instead to learn by himself while at the piano. Never serious...
Full Bio

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An Evening With Frank Loesser, Frank Loesser
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