Lerner and Loewe

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Lerner and Loewe were the team of lyricist and librettist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe, known primarily for the music and lyrics of some of Broadway's most successful musicals, including My Fair Lady, Camelot, and Brigadoon. Among the songs from the couple are "Wand'rin' Star", "Almost Like Being in Love", "Get Me to the Church on Time", "The Rain in Spain" and "I Could Have Danced All Night".


Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe, more commonly known as Fritz, met in 1942 at the Lambs Club in New York City where, according to Loewe, he mistakenly took a wrong turn to the men's room and walked past Lerner's table. Lerner describes this initial meeting in his autobiography The Street Where I Live: " 'You're Lerner, aren't you?' he asked. I could not deny it. 'You write Lyrics, don't you?' he continued. 'I try,' I replied. 'Well,' he said, 'would you like to write with me?' I immediately said, 'Yes.' And we went to work."[1][2]

Lerner claimed to be the more dominant member of the partnership, which is supported by interviews with their close friends,[citation needed] saying that he would throw out the first two melodies that Loewe would write to any song even if they were both perfect. He said he always knew, with a little pushing, Loewe was capable of greater work.[citation needed] Loewe also worked perfectly with Lerner, who would agonize for weeks over a lyric. Unlike other collaborators Lerner would work with, Loewe was the most understanding of the time Lerner needed for his lyrics and would never pressure him to complete the work.[citation needed]

Their last collaboration came with the 1974 musical film The Little Prince. The All Movie reviewer wrote: "Although Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe crafted a hummable and entertaining score, it is not among their best work; worse, its tone and style are frequently at odds with the story."[3]

Regardless of their professional relationship, Lerner and Loewe were close friends and remained so until the end of their lives.[citation needed]

On October 21, 1956, Lerner and Loewe appeared together as the mystery guests on the CBS panel quiz show What's My Line?.[4] Their final public appearance was in December 1985, when they received a Kennedy Center Honor, six months before Lerner's death.

Lerner said this of Loewe:

"There will never be another Fritz... Writing will never again be as much fun. A collaboration as intense as ours inescapably had to be complex. But I loved him more than I understood or misunderstood him and I know he loved me more than he understood or misunderstood me."[5]

In The New York Times obituary for Loewe, it was written: "Near the creative peak of their collaboration, Mr. Lerner characterized his working relationship with Mr. Loewe as pleasant and respectful."[6]

Theatre works[edit]


Films and film adaptations[edit]



  1. ^ a b Armstrong, Robin. "Lerner and Loewe Biography" musicianguide.com, retrieved May 27, 2018
  2. ^ Viertel, Jack. "How a Wrong Turn at the Lambs Club Introduced Lerner to Loewe, and An Anomaly Explained" Playbill, March 15, 2015
  3. ^ Butler, Craig. "Review" All Movie, retrieved May 28, 2018
  4. ^ " 'What's My Line?', Season 8" tv.com, retrieved May 28, 2018
  5. ^ Lerner, Alan Jay."Chapter"Camelot"The Street Where I Live, Da Capo Press, 1994, ISBN 0-306-80602-9, p. 247
  6. ^ Holden, Stephen. "Frederick Loewe Dies at 86; Wrote 'My Fair Lady' Score The New York Times, February 15, 1988
  7. ^ Loewe Broadway ibdb.com, retrieved May 27, 2018
  8. ^ Loewe Filmography" tcm.com, retrieved May 27, 2018


  • Lees, Gene (2005, originally published 1991). The Musical Worlds of Lerner and Loewe. University of Nebraska Press (bisonbooks.com), ISBN 0-8032-8040-8
  • Green, Benny, Editor (1987). A Hymn to Him : The Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 0-87910-109-1
  • Lerner, Alan Jay (1985). The Street Where I Live. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80602-9
  • Green, Benny. "Frederick Loewe, a prince of musical comedy", The Guardian, February 16, 1988, p. 33