Frank Loesser: “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.”

From The Writer’s Almanac:

Today is the birthday of composer, librettist, and lyricist Frank Loesser. His father was a classical pianist and a piano teacher who tried to discourage his son from pursuing popular music, but to no avail. . . .

He was assigned to the Army’s Special Services as a songwriter during World War II; the first song for which he wrote the music as well as the lyrics was also the first big hit of the war: “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.”. . .

In 1944, he wrote “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” which he sold to MGM in 1948 for the film Neptune’s Daughter. The song won the Academy Award and would become a perennial Christmas season favorite, though its predatory undertones have been questioned recently. Loesser went to Broadway and won the Tony Award for music and lyrics for Guys and Dolls (1950) and for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1961), which also won a Pulitzer Prize for drama.

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