A Most Remarkable Fella: Frank Loesser and the Guys and Dolls in His Life

Susan Loesser, Author Dutton Books $23 (320p) ISBN 978-1-55611-364-2
In this engaging biography, the daughter of popular composer and lyricist Frank Loesser (1910-1969) recalls her father's life and work, weaving into the story an account of her own difficult childhood, which was marred by the alcoholism of her mother and the divorce of her parents. In his pursuit of a career in the theater, Loesser broke away from the conventions of his intellectual Manhattan family and affected a Lower East Side accent and a working-class persona. Nevertheless, even after achieving success with such Broadway hits as Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying , he struggled to win the respect of his brother, a critic and musicologist who disdained popular music, and of his mother, who was equally scornful of his work. Loesser was a difficult man with a violent temper, but he could be a loving father, and his daughter, a freelance writer, tells her tale with affection in a lively book studded with humorous anecdotes and numerous lyrics from her father's memorable songs. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1993
Release date: 06/01/1993
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-634-00927-3
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