He was a singer, actor, playwright, composer and director born in Alameda, California and was writing musical comedies by the time he was in high school. He enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley but cut his time there so he could sign up for wartime military service.
He served in the US Army from 1943 to 1946 and also entertained the troops in America and in Europe. While he was in Europe he took studies in piano at the London School of Music.
After returning to civilian life he performed for a year with the Breden-Savoy Light Opera Company in California and then he moved to New York. He became a teacher at Stella Adler’s Theater School and took studies at the American Theater Wing.
He wrote Little Mary Sunshine in Greenwich Village which opened in 1959 and he followed that success with The Student Prince on Broadway and Babes in the Wood that was off-Broadway. Neither of these met with the success that Little Mary Sunshine had.
In 1966 it was announced that the 16th September would be “Rick Besoyan Day” by the Mayor of Alameda, California. Three years later he was an inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1969.
At the time of this death he had completed a musical version of Mrs ‘arris Goes To Parris but it was never produced. He died suffering internal haemmorhaging at Sayville, Long Island, New York in March 1970, when he was 45 years old.
Ed Ames Recordings
Somewhere (Rick Besoyan)
My Love Is Yours (Rick Besoyan)
Here is his composition “Such a Merry Party”….