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Cole Porter: the 100 most inspiring musicians of all time
American composer and lyricist Cole Albert Porter (b. June 9, 1891, Peru, Ind., U.S.—d. Oct. 15, 1964, Santa Monica, Calif.) brought a worldly élan to the American musical, embodying in his life the sophistication of his songs.
Porter was the grandson of a millionaire speculator, and the moderately affluent circumstances of his life probably contributed to the poise and urbanity of his musical style. He began violin study at the age of six and
piano at eight; he composed an operetta in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan at 10 and saw his first composition, a waltz, published a year later. As a student at Yale University (B.A., 1913), he composed about 300 songs, including “Eli,” “Bulldog,” and “Bingo Eli Yale,” and wrote college shows;
later he studied at Harvard Law School (1914) and Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in music (1915–16).
He made his Broadway debut with the musical comedy See America First (1916), which, however, closed after 15 performances.
In 1917, after the United States had entered World War I, Porter went to France. (He was not, as later reported, in French military service.) He became an itinerant playboy in Europe and, though rather openly homosexual, married a wealthy, older American divorcée, Linda Lee Thomas, on Dec. 18, 1919; they spent the next two decades in lively partying and social traveling, sometimes together, sometimes apart.
In 1928 Porter composed several songs for the Broadway success Paris, which led to a string of hit musical comedies, including Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929), Gay Divorcée (1932), Anything Goes (1934), Red, Hot and Blue (1934), Jubilee (1935), Dubarry Was a Lady (1939), Panama Hattie (1940), Kiss Me, Kate (1948, based on William Shakespeare’s The
Taming of the Shrew), Can-Can (1953), and Silk Stockings (1955).
He concurrently worked on a number of motion pictures. Over the years he wrote such glittering songs and lyrics as “Night and Day,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Begin the Beguine,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “In
the Still of the Night,” “Just One of Those Things,” “Love for Sale,” “My Heart Belongs to Daddy,” “Too Darn Hot,” “It’s Delovely,” “I Concentrate on You,” “Always True to You in My Fashion,” and “I Love Paris.” He was especially adept at the catalog song, his best-known efforts being “Let’s Do It” and “You’re the Top.”
Porter was one of the wittiest of all lyricists, with a subtlety of expression and a mastery of the interior rhyme. His work continues to stand as the epitome of sophisticated, civilized detachment in the popular song form. His large output might have been even more vast had not a horseriding
accident in 1937 left him a semi-invalid, necessitating 30 operations and the eventual amputation of a leg.
The Music of Cole Porter (THE BEST OF JAZZ – FULL ALBUM)
01- The Physician – Gertrude Lawrence
02- Anything goes – Cole Porter
03- Billie Holiday – Let’s Do It
04- Ambrose – I’ve Got You On My Mind
05- Billie Holiday – Night And Day
06- Chick Henderson – Begin the Beguine
07- Cole Porter – You’re The Top
08- Frances Day It’s De – Lovely
09- Frances Langford – Rap Tap On Wood
10- Frances Langford – Easy To Love
11- Al Bowlly – How Could We Be Wrong?
12- I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Ray Noble
13- Cole Porter – Experiment
14- Don’t Fence Me In – Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
15- Marlene Dietrich – You do something to me
16- Miss Otis Regrets – Jay Wilbur
17- My Heart Belongs to Daddy – Billy Cotton
18- Blow, Gabriel, Blow – Nat Gonella and his Georgians
19- Irving Aaronson – Lets Misbehave
20- Noel Coward – You’d be so nice to come home to