The Musical Worlds of Lerner and Loewe

Overview


Lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918–86) and composer Frederick Loewe (1901–88) wrote some of the most successful musical shows on Broadway and in motion-picture history: Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, Camelot, Gigi, and Paint Your Wagon. They worked with stars such as Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Audrey Hepburn, Louis Jourdan, and Robert Goulet.
 
Lerner was raised on Park Avenue, attended Choate and Harvard, lost sight in one eye ...
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Overview


Lyricist Alan Jay Lerner (1918–86) and composer Frederick Loewe (1901–88) wrote some of the most successful musical shows on Broadway and in motion-picture history: Brigadoon, My Fair Lady, Camelot, Gigi, and Paint Your Wagon. They worked with stars such as Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, Richard Burton, Audrey Hepburn, Louis Jourdan, and Robert Goulet.
 
Lerner was raised on Park Avenue, attended Choate and Harvard, lost sight in one eye from a boxing injury, and was legendary for his eight marriages and countless affairs on the side. Loewe was born in Berlin and in 1925 came to New York, where he played piano in silent-movie theaters. After a brief career as a boxer and then as a Montana cowboy, he returned to New York and to songwriting.
 
In The Musical Worlds of Lerner and Loewe, Gene Lees has fashioned a readable, in-depth portrait of two creative talents: how they met and joined forces to create some of the finest musical theater, and also how marriages, legendary affairs, addictions, and backstage friction affected their art in many surprising ways.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review

"[Lees is] one of our most valuable music journalists."—New York Times Book Review
The Star-Democrat

"One of the many interesting critical points Gene Lees makes in this outstanding new book about American musical showbiz is one that had never occurred to me (but should have). . . . That 'the Broadway musical theater . . . has almost from the beginning been the plaything of rich boys. . . . ' He notes a few 'notable exceptions.'"—John Goodspeed, The Star-Democrat

— John Goodspeed

Washington Post Book World

"As far as I know, Adorno had nothing to say about Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, the team that wrote ‘Gigi,’ 'Camelot' and 'My Fair Lady,' among others. But in telling the story of their collaboration, Gene Lees . . . does not hesitate to philosophize (lightly) about such larger topics as the state of American music."—Washington Post Book World

— Dennis Drabelle

Allegro

"Anyone with an interest in the American musical theater or the American popular song tradition should enjoy this book. . . . Mixed into his well-constructed narrative describing in detail the lives of these two men and how they came to collaborate so successfully is Lee's rich commentary on lyric writing, song structure, the music business, backstage gossip, social mores, and whatever else strikes a chord with him as he examines his subject matter."—Allegro
The Star-Democrat - John Goodspeed

"One of the many interesting critical points Gene Lees makes in this outstanding new book about American musical showbiz is one that had never occurred to me (but should have). . . . That 'the Broadway musical theater . . . has almost from the beginning been the plaything of rich boys. . . . ' He notes a few 'notable exceptions.'"—John Goodspeed, The Star-Democrat
Washington Post Book World - Dennis Drabelle

"As far as I know, Adorno had nothing to say about Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, the team that wrote ‘Gigi,’ 'Camelot' and 'My Fair Lady,' among others. But in telling the story of their collaboration, Gene Lees . . . does not hesitate to philosophize (lightly) about such larger topics as the state of American music."—Washington Post Book World
Library Journal
Critic and journalist Lees offers a highly readable account of lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, who gave Broadway such hits as My Fair Lady, Camelot, Gigi, and Paint Your Wagon. Lees not only traces their remarkable careers but also depicts how their turbulent personal lives influenced their art. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803280403
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Pages: 350
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author


The acclaimed music critic and journalist Gene Lees is a four-time winner of the ASCAP–Deems Taylor Award and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Journalists Association. His sixteen books include You Can't Steal a Gift: Dizzy, Clark, Milt, and Nat, available in a Bison Books edition.
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Table of Contents

The modes of music 1
Fritz : the early years 9
Alan : the early years 26
On to Brigadoon 43
An American in Paris 65
Oscar night 74
Pascal and Pygmalion 86
The creation of a classic 100
Fears and hesitations 107
The show does go on 117
My fair lady 131
Maybe the chandeliers 139
Gigi 152
The road to Camelot 168
Troubles in Toronto 182
Camelot recovered 199
Fritz walks away 208
Drugs and divorce 225
On a clear day 231
Paint your wagon : the movie 244
Coco 263
Disaster with Bernstein 275
The last musical 283
Fallen angel 300
Final days 310
A legacy of songs 318
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