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Cole Porter biography 
 

Cole Porter

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Night and Day
 

Cole Porter Biography


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 family of privilege; 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, 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. It's stated in other sources that Porter just made this up but it was accepted back home at the time and seems to have found its way into several modern sources. 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.

Contents

Biographies

  • (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.

Samples

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.)


A far more comprehensive list of Cole Porter songs, along with their date of composition and original show, is available Here: 1 (http://www.thepeaches.com/music/composers/cole/Songs.html).

Sources

McBrien, William (1998). Cole Porter: A Biography. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0679727922.

JX Bell Cole Porter Biography  (http://www.coleporter.org/bio.html|) (retrieved February 16, 2005)

Stefan Kanfer (Winter 2003) Voodoo That He Did So Well  (http://www.city-journal.org/html/13_1_urbanities-the_voodoo.html|The) City Journal



This biography is published under the GNU Licence






Items to buy by Cole Porter



Anything Goes (2011 Revival Edition) -- Vocal Selections (Piano/Vocal). By Cole Porter. For Keyboard; Piano; Voice. This edition: Piano/Vocal. Artist/Personality; Book; Piano/Vocal/Chords; Shows & Movies. Broadway. 76 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing

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Cole Porter Album: Volume 2 for String Quartet By Cole Porter. Arranged by Bert Ligon. For string quartet. Instrumental Ensemble - Strings. Geared for pro gig players. Grade 4. Set of parts. Published by Latham Music Enterprises

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Night and Day "By Cole Porter. For piano, voice, and guitar (chords only). This edition: Piano/Vocal/Chords. Piano/Vocal/Chords; Sheet; Solo. Sheet. 6 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing"

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Cole Porter Album: Volume 1 for String Quartet "By Cole Porter. Arranged by Bert Ligon. For violin 1, violin 2, viola, cello. Instrumental Ensemble - Strings. Geared for pro gig players. Grade 4. Set of parts. Published by Latham Music Enterprises"

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Cole Porter Medley "(Easy to Love / I Love You / I Get a Kick Out of You). By Cole Porter. Arranged by Mike Kocour. For Piano. This edition: 2 copies included. Duet or Duo; Piano Duo (2 Pianos, 4 Hands). Late Intermediate. Sheet. 32 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishi

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"Music & Lyrics By Cole Porter, Vol. 1" "By Cole Porter. For voice, piano and guitar. P/V/G Composer Collection. Standards and Broadway. Difficulty: medium. Songbook. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names, introductory text and black & white photos. 287 pages. Published by Hal

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"Volume 112 - Cole Porter - ""21 Great American Standards""" "By Cole Porter. Edited by Jamey Aebersold. For any C, Eb, Bb, bass instrument or voice. Play-Along series with accompaniment CD. Jamey Aebersold Play-A-Long series. Intermediate, advanced. Book & 2 CDs. 92 pages. Published by Jamey Aebersold Jazz"

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Anything Goes - Vocal Selections (Revival Edition) "(Piano/Vocal/Chords). By Cole Porter. For voice and piano. This edition: Piano/Vocal/Chords. Piano/Vocal/Chords; Shows & Movies. Broadway and Vocal Standards. Difficulty: medium. Songbook. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics and chord names. 68 pag

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Cole Porter Love Songs By Cole Porter. P/V/G Composer Collection. 168 pages. Published by Hal Leonard

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Popular Performer Porter (The Songs of Cole Porter). By Cole Porter. Arranged by Larry Shackley. For Piano. Artist/Personality; Piano - Personality Book; Piano Supplemental. Popular Performer Series. Jazz; Pop; Standard. Advanced. Book. 40 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publish

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Volume 51 - Night & Day "By Jamey Aebersold. For any C, Eb, Bb, bass instrument or voice. Play-Along series with accompaniment CD. Jamey Aebersold Play-A-Long series. 13 of the most popular songs every produced from Gershwin to Cole Porter.. Intermediate, advanced. Book & CD. 80

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I've Got You Under My Skin "By Frank Sinatra. By Cole Porter. For voice, piano and guitar chords. Piano Vocal. Vocal Standards, Pop Vocal, Standards and Broadway. Difficulty: medium. Single. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. 5 pages.

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De-Lovely "(Music from the Motion Picture). By Cole Porter. For voice, piano and guitar (chords only). This edition: Piano/Vocal/Chords. Piano/Vocal/Chords; Shows & Movies. Movies and Standards. Difficulty: medium. Songbook. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyric

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Cole Porter (Jazz Play-Along Volume 16). By Cole Porter. Jazz Play Along. Play Along. Softcover with CD. 88 pages. Published by Hal Leonard

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High Society - Vocal Selections "(Piano/Vocal/Chords). By Cole Porter. For voice and piano. This edition: Piano/Vocal/Chords. Piano/Vocal/Chords; Shows & Movies. Movies, Broadway and Standards. Difficulty: medium. Songbook. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and intr

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I Get A Kick Out Of You By Cole Porter. Standards. Piano/Vocal/Guitar. 6 pages. Published by Hal Leonard - Digital Sheet Music

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The New Best of Cole Porter (Piano/Vocal/Guitar). By Cole Porter. For Guitar; Keyboard; Piano; Voice. This edition: Piano/Vocal/Guitar. Artist/Personality; Personality Book; Piano/Vocal/Chords. The New Best of... series. Broadway. Book. 64 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing

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Don't Fence Me In By Cole Porter. Arranged by Philip Hagemann. Choir Secular. Men's Choir. Choral Octavo. Pop Choral Series. Movie. Choral Octavo. 20 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing

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Cole Porter (Classic String Quartets) By Cole Porter. Arranged by Tony Esposito. Quartet; String Quartet. 100 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing

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The Cole Porter Song Collection By Cole Porter. Arranged by Dan Coates. For Piano. This edition: Easy Piano. Artist/Personality; Book; Piano - Personality Book; Piano Supplemental. Broadway; Nostalgia; Standard. Easy Piano. 168 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing

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