33¢ Frank Loesser
Issue Date: September 21, 1999
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Sterling Sommer for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Frank Loesser (1910-1969) was one of Broadway’s best composers, lyricists, and producers. Born in New York City, Loesser left college in 1926 and took a variety of odd jobs, including newspaper reporter. He also wrote sketches and lyrics for vaudeville acts.
Loesser was a singer at a New York City nightclub in the early 1930s. A few of his songs were included in the revue “The Illustrator’s Show” (1936). This earned Loesser a contract with Universal Pictures. He later joined Paramount, and spent 11 years in Hollywood.
While serving with the Army during World War II, Loesser had a hit with the song “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” After he returned home, Loesser wrote the music and lyrics for “Where’s Charley?” which opened in 1948 and ran for nearly 800 performances.
The lyricist’s next undertaking was based on the short story “The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown.” The title of the musical became “Guys and Dolls” (1950). Ranked as one of the finest in history, the musical was performed over 1,200 times in its original run on Broadway. Loesser’s successful musical career culminated with his blockbusting satire, “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (1961). He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1962 for the show.