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Cole Porter – Gershwin Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) piano solo Sheet Music

Cole Porter – Gershwin Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) piano solo Sheet Music

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Cole Porter (1881-1964)

Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer.

His works include musical comedies like ‘Kiss Me Kate’ (1948), based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Fifty Million Frenchmen and Anything Goes; as well as songs that have become classics such as ‘Night and Day’, ‘I Get a Kick out of You’ or ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’. Their sophisticated lyrics, with clever rhymes and complex shapes, are characteristic.

He was one of the great contributors to the Great American Songbook.

Biography

Cole Porter was born in Peru, Indiana, in an Episcopalian family. His maternal grandfather, James Omar ‘J.O.’ Cole was a coal and lumber speculator who dominated his daughter’s family. His mother began to educate him musically at an early age: he played the violin at 6, the piano at 8 and wrote his first operetta (with the help of his mother) at only 10). His mother, Kate, recognized and encouraged her son’s talent (and changed his birthdate from 1891 to 1893 to make it seem more precocious).

His grandfather, J.O. Cole wanted the boy to be a lawyer, so he attended Yale University from 1909. There he was a member of several fraternities, and he wrote several student songs, including football cheer songs, which are still sung today. It is estimated that he wrote about 300 songs while at Yale.

He spent a year at Harvard Law School in 1913, and went on to the University of Arts and Sciences. An apocryphal story says that the dean of the university, frustrated by Porter’s lack of progress, told him not to waste his time studying law and to focus on his music. Porter heeded him.

He spent a year at Harvard Law School in 1913, and went on to the University of Arts and Sciences. An apocryphal story says that the dean of the university, frustrated by Porter’s lack of progress, told him not to waste his time studying law and to focus on his music. Porter heeded him.

In 1915, his first Broadway song, Esmeralda, appeared in Hands Up magazine. Rapid success was immediately followed by failure: His first Broadway production, See America First (1916), with a libretto by Lawrason Riggs, was a flop, closing after two weeks.

Several more failures followed, before which Porter went into exile in Paris, selling songs and living a full life.
Paris and marriage

Porter was busy writing songs when the United States entered World War I in 1917. He traveled throughout Europe, associating with several of Europe’s most renowned intellectuals and artists.

Although he did not enlist, he was fond of telling the press that he had enlisted in the French Foreign Legion. He actually worked at the Duryera Relief Foundation, and had several military uniforms made to order when he was in the mood to do so. The French Foreign Legion claims, however, that Porter enlisted and displays his portrait in its museum in Aubagne.

In 1918, Porter met Linda Lee Thomas, a wealthy divorcee from Kentucky, 8 years his senior, whom he married in 1919.

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Sexual orientation

Although Porter was often photographed in the arms of beautiful women, and was married for 34 years to Linda Lee Thomas, there is speculation that he was more homosexual than bisexual. The couple separated briefly in the early 1930s, and it is believed that Porter’s sexual orientation became increasingly open during his time in Hollywood.

After Porter was badly injured in a horse riding accident, Linda moved back in with her husband. He had an affair in 1925 with Boris Kochno, a Russian poet and librettist. She is also said to have had a long relationship with Howard Sturges, with Ed Tauch (for whom Porter wrote ‘Easy to Love’), with choreographer Nelson Barclift (who inspired ‘You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To’ ), with John Wilson, and was lifelong friends with Ray Kelly, whose children still receive half of Porter’s royalties.

Beginnings

Unlike contemporary composers, such as George Gershwin or Irving Berlin, Porter did not enjoy success on Broadway when he started out. He lived in Europe without having anything, writing many songs that would later be hits.

Richard Rodgers, in his autobiography, Musical Stages, tells an anecdote about when he met Cole in Venice during this period. Porter played several of his songs for him, and Rodgers, very impressed, wondered how it was that Porter was not performed on Broadway, not knowing that Cole had already written several shows that had ended up failing.

In the late 20s, Porter returned to Broadway.

Back to Broadway

Porter returned to Broadway with the musical Paris (1928), which included one of his greatest songs: ‘Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)’. This was followed by Fifty Million Frenchmen (1929), which included several songs such as ‘You Do Something to Me’ and ‘You’ve Got That Thing’. On December 30, 1929, he released Wake Up and Dream, which included the song ‘What Is This Thing Called Love?’.

He started the 1930s with The New Yorkers magazine (1930), which included a song about a street urchin, ‘Love For Sale’. The song was considered too explicit to be played on the radio at the time, but over time it has become a classic. Then came Fred Astaire’s last stage show, Gay Divorce (1932), which featured what is perhaps Porter’s best-known song: ‘Night and Day’.

In 1934, Porter wrote what would be his best score of this period: Anything Goes (1934). Among the songs that are part of it are ‘I Get a Kick out of You’, ‘All Through the Night’, ‘You’re the Top’ and ‘Blow, Gabriel, Blow’, as well as the song that gives its name to the show For many years, critics would compare Porter’s subsequent shows to this one, always unfavorably. Also, Anything Goes was Porter’s first show to work with Ethel Merman, who would star in 5.

Jubilee (1935), written with Moss Hart during a round-the-world cruise was not a huge success, but it included two songs that have become part of the great American songbook: ‘Begin the Beguine’ and ‘Just One of Those Things’. Red Hot I Blue (1936), with Merman, Jimmy Durante and Bob Hope, included ‘It’s De-Lovely’, ‘Down in the Depths (on the Ninetieth Floor)’ and ‘Ridin’ High’.

Porter also wrote for Hollywood, including the scores for Born To Dance (1936), which contained ‘Easy to Love’ and ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’; or Rosalie (1937), with ‘In the Still of the Night’. He also composed the cowboy song ‘Don’t Fence Me In’ for a film that was never produced, but would become a hit performed by Roy Rogers and Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters in the 1940s.

Porter continued his high standard of living in this period, in which he was associated with names such as Elsa Maxwell, Monty Woolley, Beatrice Lillie, Ígor Stravinsky and Fanny Brice. In fact, in many of his songs he mentions his friends. At the height of his success, Porter enjoyed going to the premieres of his musicals, making a full entrance to the front row, and seemingly enjoying the show as much as any other member of the audience.

In 1937, he had a horse-riding accident that broke his legs and left him crippled and increasingly in pain. Porter Doctors told his wife and mother that his right leg would have to be amputated, and possibly his left as well. Porter endured more than 30 operations on his legs and was in pain for the rest of his life. The pain caused him great depression, being one of the first to experiment with electroshock.

Last years

Despite the pain, Porter continued to write highly successful shows. Leave It to Me! (1938) (with Mary Martin singing ‘My Heart Belongs to Daddy’) Du Barry Was a Lady (1939), Panama Hattie (1940), Let’s Face It! (1941), Something for the Boys (1943) and Mexican Hayride (1944) were big hits. Among the songs that make them up are ‘Get Out of Town’, ‘Friendship’, ‘Make It Another Old-Fashioned Please’, and ‘I Love You’.

But his songs no longer achieved great success, and some critics claimed that his music had lost its magic. After two failures, Seven Lively Arts (1944) (with ‘Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye’) and Around the World (1946), many thought that their best time had already passed.

In 1948, Porter made a big comeback, writing what was by far his most successful show: Kiss Me, Kate. The production won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and Porter won the awards for Best Composer and Lyricist. The score (generally regarded as the best of all) included ‘Another Op’nin’ Another Show’, ‘Wunderbar’, ‘So In Love’, ‘We Open in Venice’, ‘Tom, Dick or Harry’, ‘I’ ve Come to Wive It Wealthily in Padua’, ‘Too Darn Hot’, ‘Always True to You in My Fashion’, and ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’. Porter was once again in charge.

Although his next show, Out Of This World (1950), was not very successful, the follow-up, Can-Can (1952) (which included ‘C’est Magnifique’ and ‘It’s All Right with Me’) was such a success. Her last Broadway production, Silk Stockings (1955), featuring ‘All of You’, was also a hit.

After his horse-riding accident, Porter continued to work in Hollywood, writing the scores for two Fred Astaire films: Broadway Melody of 1940 (featuring ‘I Concentrate on You’) and You’ll Never Get Rich ( 1941). Later he would write the songs for Vicente Minnelli’s musical The Pirate (1948), with Gene Kelly and Judy Garland.

The film lost money, and included the delightful song ‘Be a Clown’ (which Donald O’Connor would later cover in the song ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’ from the 1952 film Singing in the Rain. High Society ( 1956), starring Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra and Grace Kelly, had what was Porter’s last big hit, ‘True Love.’ He wrote the songs for Les Girls (1957), with Gene Kelly. His last score was for a CBS special, Aladdin (1958), which Columbia Records would release on LP.

Eventually, his wounds caught up with him. After a series of ulcers and 34 operations, his right leg had to be amputated and replaced with an orthotic in 1958. The operation followed the death of his mother in 1952 and his wife in 1954. From 1958 he did not write any more songs, and lived his last years in relative seclusion.

Cole Porter died of kidney failure in Santa Monica, California, aged 73. He was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, in his native Peru, between his wife and his father.

Tributes to Cole Porter

At halftime of the 1991 Orange Bowl between Colorado and Notre Dame, Joel Gray led a crowd of singers and dancers in a tribute to Porter on the centennial of his birth. The program was called ‘You’ll Get a Kick Out of Cole’.

In 1990, he released Red Hot + Blue with 20 of Porter’s songs, recorded by artists such as U2 and Annie Lennox, on a CD benefiting AIDS research.

Legacy

Two films have been made about his life: the satanized Night and Day (1946), by Michael Curtiz and starring Cary Grant and Alexis Smith; and De-Lovely (004), by Irwin Winkler and starring Kevin Kline as Porter and Ashley Judd as Linda, much more realistic.

At the 37th edition of the Oscars, Judy Garland performed one of Porter’s songs. It was the first Oscar ceremony after Porter’s death.

In 1980, Porter’s music was used in the musical Happy New Year, based on the play Holiday, by Philip Barry.

The film De-Lovely, directed by Irwin Winkler in 2004, narrates the life of Cole Porter in the form of a musical.

In 2011 Woody Allen wrote and directed Midnight in Paris in which the character of Cole Porter, played by Yves Heck, appears.

Cole Porter Works

List of musical comedies and films with music by Cole Porter, with famous songs, including:

  • 1916: See America First
  • 1919: Hitchy Koo Of 1919: «An Old Fashioned Garden»
  • 1928: Paris: «Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall In Love»
  • 1929: Wake Up And Dream: «What Is This Thing Called Love?»
  • 1929: Fifty Million Frenchmen: «You Do Something To Me»
  • 1930: The New Yorkers: «Love for Sale», «I Happen To Like New York»
  • 1932: Gay Divorce: «After You, Who», «Night And Day»
  • 1933: Nymph Errant: «Experiment», «The Physician», «It’s Bad For Me»
  • 1934: Anything Goes: «All Through the Night», «Anything Goes», «Blow Gabriel, Blow», «I Get A Kick Out Of You», «You’re the Top»
  • 1934: Adiós Argentina (projecte de pel·lícula): «Don’t Fence Me In»
  • 1935: Jubilee: «Begin the Beguine», «Just One Of Those Things»
  • 1936: Red, Hot and Blue: «It’s De-Lovely»
  • 1936: Born to Dance (pel·lícula): «Down in the Depths», «Easy To Love (You’d Be So Easy To Love)», «I’ve Got You Under My Skin»
  • 1937: Rosalie (pel·lícula): «In the Still of the Night»
  • 1937: You Never Know: «At Long Last Love», «From Alpha To Omega»
  • 1938: Leave It To Me: «From Now On», «My Heart Belongs to Daddy»
  • 1939: Broadway Melody Of 1940: «Between You And Me», «I Concentrate On You», «I’ve Got My Eyes On You», «I Happen To Be In Love»
  • 1939: Dubarry Was A Lady: «Do I Love You», «Well, Did You Evah!», «Friendship»
  • 1940: Panama Hattie: «Let’s Be Buddies», «Make It Another Old-Fashioned, Please»
  • 1941: You’ll Never Get Rich: «Dream Dancing», «So Near and Yet So Far»
  • 1941: Let’s Face It (pel·lícula): «Everything I Love», «I Hate You, Darling»
  • 1942: Something for the Boys: «Could It Be You»
  • 1942: Something To Shout About: «You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To»
  • 1943: Mexican Hayride: «I Love You»
  • 1944: Seven Lively Arts: «Every Time We Say Goodbye»
  • 1946: Around the World in Eighty Days: «Look What I Found»
  • 1947: The Pirate (pel·lícula): «Be a Clown»
  • 1948: Kiss Me, Kate: «Another Op’nin’, Another Show», «Brush Up Your Shakespeare», «I Hate Men», «So In Love», «Too Darn Hot»
  • 1950: Out of This World (Broadway): «From This Moment On», «I Am Loved»
  • 1953: Can-Can (musical): «I Am In Love», «I Love Paris», «C’est Magnifique»
  • 1954: Silk Stockings: «All Of You», «Paris Loves Lovers»
  • 1955: High Society (pel·lícula): «Mind If I Make Love To You», «True Love», «Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?», «You’re Sensational»
  • 1956: Les Girls: «Ca, C’est L’amour», «You’re Just Too, Too»
  • 1958: Aladdin (televisió): «Opportunity Knocks But Once»

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