Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cole Porter (June 9, 1891 - October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. His works include the musical comedies Kiss Me, Kate (1948) (based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew), Fifty Million Frenchmen and Anything Goes, as well as songs like "Night and Day," "I Get a Kick Out of You," and "I've Got You Under My Skin." He was noted for his sophisticated lyrics, clever rhymes, and complex forms. Irving Berlin used to refer to "Night and Day" as "that long, long song."
Porter was born in Peru, Indiana, into a wealthy family; his grandfather was a coal and timber speculator. His mother started Cole Porter in musical training at an early age, and Porter learned the violin at age 6, the piano at age 8, and he wrote his first operetta (with help from his mother) at age 10. Porter's grandfather wanted the boy to become a lawyer, and with that career in mind, Porter attended Worcester Academy and then Yale University beginning in 1909, (at Yale he became a member of the famous secret society, Scroll and Key), and spent a year at Harvard Law School in 1913. After realizing that he wanted to concentrate on music, he transferred to Harvard's School of Music. Porter's first Broadway production, in 1916, See America First (book by Lawrason Riggs), was a flop, closing after two weeks.
Porter enlisted in the French Foreign Legion and served in North Africa. [Other chiefly modern sources dispute Porter's claim, but it was accepted at the time.] He was transferred in 1917 to the French Officers School at Fontainebleau and was assigned to teach gunnery to American soldiers. He set up a luxury apartment in Paris and alternated between his officer duties and leading a playboy lifestyle. In 1918, in Paris, he met Linda Lee Thomas (1883-1954), a rich Louisville, Kentucky-born divorcée several years his senior; they were married in 1919. She was once dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world.
His musicals and individual songs soon gained him popularity; many were written specifically with Fred Astaire in mind. A riding accident in 1937 crushed his legs and left him in chronic pain and largely crippled, but he continued to compose. (According to a biography by William McBrien, a probably apocryphal story from Porter himself has it that he composed the lyrics to part of "At Long Last Love" while lying in pain waiting to be rescued from the accident.)
Porter was bisexual, a situation that was apparently no secret to his wife, though they did separate in the early 1930s when Porter's sexuality became more and more open during their time living in Hollywood. He had an affair in 1925 with Ballets Russes star Boris Kochno and reportedly had a long relationship with his constant companion, Howard Sturges , a Boston socialite, as well as architect Ed Tauch (for whom Porter wrote "Easy to Love"), choreographer Nelson Barclift (who inspired "Night and Day"), director John Wilson (who later married international society beauty Princess Nathalie Paley ), and longtime friend Ray Kelly , whose children still receive half of the childless Porter's copyrights. A review of a recent Porter biography recounts that in his later years, the composer kept "breaking appliances so he could lure cute repairmen into his lair."
Cole Porter is interred in the Mount Hope Cemetery, Peru, Indiana.
His life was made into Night and Day, a 1946 Michael Curtiz film starring Cary Grant and Alexis Smith. It is also chronicled in De-Lovely, a 2004 Irwin Winkler film starring Kevin Kline as Porter and Ashley Judd as Linda.
- (1946) Biographic film Night and Day, starring Cary Grant and Alexis Smith as Porter and his wife.
- (1998) Written biography Cole Porter: A Biography, by McBrien, William (New York: Vintage Books). ISBN 0679727922.
- (2004) Biographic Film De-Lovely, starring Kevin Kline as Cole Porter and Ashley Judd as his wife Linda.
- In The Still Of The Night.ogg of "In the Still of the Night" by Billy Eckstine, a popular version of a Porter song
Well known songs
Shows listed are stage musicals unless otherwise noted. (Where the show was done both as a film and on stage, the year refers to the stage version.)
- (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 '
- (1932) Gay Divorcee (film) -- 'After You, Who ', 'Night And Day '
- (1934) Anything Goes -- 'All Through The Night ', 'Anything Goes ', 'Blow Gabriel, Blow ', 'I Get A Kick Out Of You', 'You're the Top '
- (1934) Adios Argentina (un-produced) -- '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 (film) -- 'Down In The Depths ', 'Easy To Love (You'd Be So Easy To Love) ', 'I've Got You Under My Skin '
- (1937) Rosalie (film) -- '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 '
- (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 '
- (1941) Let's Face It -- 'Ev'rything 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 '
- (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 -- 'From This Moment On ', 'I Am Loved '
- (1953) Can-Can -- 'I Am In Love ', 'I Love Paris '
- (1954) Silk Stockings -- 'All Of You ', 'Paris Loves Lovers '
- (1955) High Society -- '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 (television) -- 'Opportunity Knocks But Once '
A far more comprehensive list of Cole Porter songs, along with their date of composition and original show, is available Here: .
McBrien, William (1998). Cole Porter: A Biography. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0679727922.
JX Bell Cole Porter Biography (retrieved February 16, 2005)
Stefan Kanfer (Winter 2003) Voodoo That He Did So Well City Journal
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details