RIP, Larry L. King

The writer who was known for writing the book for the Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas died Thursday at 83. Read three of senior editor John Spong's favorite stories by the giant of Texas letters. 
Mon December 24, 2012 2:20 am
Bill Wittliff/The Wittliff Collections

Strange as it may seem, it’s almost a shame Larry L. King, who died Thursday in Washington, D.C., is known primarily for  The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Don’t get me wrong. His original 1974 Playboy article [SFW] of that title is a tremendous read. All the LLK hallmarks are there–the folksy ribaldry, the contempt for do-gooder hypocrites, and the big-hearted respect for small-town underdogs. I’m less familiar with the franchise it inspired, never having attended the musical nor viewed the film it inspired, but I know it as Larry thought of it–as his “home run.” All underpaid magazine writers know what that means. Whether we care to admit it or not, we’ve all got a little place inside of us where we jump up and down like Carlton Fisk waving at the flag pole every time we finish a story, hoping we can coax it out of the ballpark. Whorehouse did just that, making Larry enough money to buy a 200-year-old mansion in D.C.–or “Dee Cee,” as he called it–and put his kids through

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