Cole Porter

.. her life. They were married on December 19, 1919 to live a happy but mostly successful although sexless marriage until Linda’s death in 1954 The Later Years After early success with one-offs like Don’t Fence Me In, re- released in a World War II musical called Hollywood Canteen, Cole signed some contracts to do work for the film industry. The first film to contain a Cole Porter song was The Battle of Paris from 1929, but his two tunes from that movie had little impact on his career because of the low quality of the film in general. Cole was happy with many aspects of the Hollywood community, including the liberal gay enclave called movie industry population.

Although there is some dispute about the reasons why Linda did not like the Hollywood home, my research indicates that the primary friction was due to Cole’s relatively more public sexual escapades. At the time, it was much less acceptable to be an eccentric gay artist and Linda feared for Cole’s reputation and career. In 1937, Cole was involved in a horse riding accident and fractured both of legs. This was a personal tragedy for the composer who placed an enormous value on his looks, for both social and sexual reasons. His vibrant energy and obsession to maintain his looks through elaborate daily rituals could not (in his opinion) compensate for such a debilitating blow at his health and his ego.

He was in the hospital for months, but the effects took a hit upon his mental and physical health. It was only made worse by the eventual amputation of one of his legs. This did not stop him from writing music. During this period were songs like Most Gentlemen Don’t Like Love, From Now On, and Get Out Of Town. In 1945, he lent his permission but minimal creative energy to the movie Night and Day, allegedly about the life of Cole Porter.

Sadly for history, this movie had little relationship to the actual life of Cole Porter. It left out important parts of life, like his overly pampered and controlled youth, his gay lovers, his ‘business’ marriage, and told the tall tales that Cole inflicted upon the world. For instance, although he had never served in the French Army, the movie faithfully told of his exploits. Cole reportedly enjoyed the movie’s wildly fictional account, and he had the privilege of seeing Cary Grant play the part of the composer. After this point, he had one major production, Kiss Me Kate, which was based on the Shakespeare classic Taming of the Shrew.

Cole was very skeptical of this production but eventually lent his hand to the production and it became very successful, eventually spawning a moderately successful movie. The following years saw some less successful productions, and the amputation of his right leg which pained him in 1958. After the amputation, his creative productivity, his social power, and his happiness had waned. He died on October 15, 1964. In accordance with his wishes, he was buried between his wife Linda and his father Sam Porter.

Perhaps because his father’s almost irrelevant role his upbringing, many reports have circled that he was buried between his mother Kate and his wife Linda. The popularity of his individual songs lasted far beyond the common knowledge of the man himself. Many of his most famous songs were presented to the public only in the context of musicals or movies which contained non-Cole Porter songs. Other famous songs have come from Cole Porter musicals or revues that failed miserably, but made up their exposure via sheet music and recordings from popular singers like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. One album that brought Cole Porter to many younger listeners was a fund raising pop album called Red, Hot, and Blue with Cole Porter songs sung by popular musicians of the 1980s and 1990s.

Porter songs still maintain a strong presence in movie soundtracks (from Woody Allen Movies, to Tank Girls), with the most popular songs Lets Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) and Night and Day. Let’s hope that we all keep that faith and keep the talent of Cole Porter alive! The Shows (theatre) Anything Goes Around the World in Eighty Days Can-Can Du Barry Was a Lady Fifty Million Frenchmen Gay Divorce High Society Jubilee Kiss Me Kate Leave It to Me Let’s Face It Mexican Hay Ride The New Yorkers Nymph Errant Out of This World Panama Hattie Red, Hot and Blue Seven Lively Arts Silk Stockings Something for the Boys You Never Know The Films Anything Goes (1936) Anything Goes (1956) Born to Dance Broadway Melody of 1940 Can-Can Du Barry Was a Lady High Society Kiss Me Kate Les Girls Panama Hattie The Pirate Rosalie Silk Stockings Something to Shout About You’ll Never Get Rich Miscellaneous Films These films a) were made from Cole Porter shows, but used very little of his contributions, b) have a song (or two) that were directly commissioned from Cole Porter. Paris The Battle of Paris Fifty Million Frenchmen Paree, Paree The Gay Divorcee Break the News Let’s Face It Something for the Boys Hollywood Canteen Adam’s Rib Stage Fright Early Broadway, Paris, and London Shows Greenwich Village Follies of 1924 Hitchy-Koo of 1919 Hitchy-Koo of 1922 Paris La Revue des Ambassadeurs See America First Wake Up and Dream Within the Quota College Shows And the Villain Still Pursued Her Cora The Kaleidoscope Paranoia The Pot of Gold Concert Productions and Studio Recordings Anything Goes (1989) Fifty Million Frenchmen (1991) Kiss Me Kate (1990) Nymph Errant (1989) Out of This World (1995) Something for the Boys (1997) Other Recordings Anything Goes Can-Can High Society Kiss Me Kate Silk Stockings Television Projects Aladdin Television Adaptations – Anything Goes – Kiss Me Kate – Let’s Face It – Panama Hattie Unproduced Projects Adios, Argentina [film] Ever Yours [stage] Greek to You [stage] Mississippi Belle [film] Star Dust [stage] Interpolations and Revues Films and shows with interpolated Porter songs, and revues of Porter songs. At Long Last Love [film] Cole (Mermaid) [revue] Decline and Fall .. [revue] Evil Under the Sun [film] Happy New Year [stage] Night and Day [film] A Swell Party [revue] Unsung Cole [revue] Complete Movie Listing These are all the movies which contain Cole Porter songs. Action in the North Atlantic (1943) Adam’s Rib (1949) Aladdin (1958) American Pop (1981) Anything Goes (1936) Artie Shaw and His Orchestra (1938) Battle of Paris, The (1929) Born to Dance (1936) Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940) Bullets Over Broadway (1994) Don’t Fence Me In (1945) Du Barry Was a Lady (1943) Everyone Says I Love You (1996) Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972) Evil Under The Sun (1982) Eye For an Eye (1996) Forget Paris (1995) Frauds (1993) French Kiss (1995) Gay Divorcee, The (1934) Grande Arte, A (1991) Great Expectations (1998) Great White Hype, The (1996) Hal Kemp and His Orchestra (1941) Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) High Society (1956) Hollywood Canteen (1944) I dood It (1943) I morgon, Mario (1994) Imaginary Crimes (1994) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Innocent Blood (1992) Innocent, The (1993) Jumanji (1995) Junior (1994) Kiss Me Kate (1953) Let’s Make Love (1960) Life Stinks (1991) Life With Mikey (1993) Little Man Tate (1991) Lullaby of Broadway (1951) Maria’s Lovers (1984) Marrying Man, The (1991) Miami Rhapsody (1995) Mighty Aphrodite (1995) More the Merrier, The (1943) Mr. North (1988) New York Stories (1989) Night and Day (1946) No Questions Asked (1951) Now, Voyager (1942) Once Upon a Time in America (1984) Paree, Paree (1934) Pirate, The (1948) Prelude to a Kiss (1992) Radio Days (1987) Rising Sun (1993) Rocketeer, The (1991) Rosalie (1937) Russia House, The (1990) Scenes from a Mall (1991) Side Street (1950) Silk Stockings (1957) Six Degrees of Separation (1993) Slither (1972) Something for the Boys (1944) Something to Shout About (1943) Stage Fright (1950) Stardust Memories (1980) Starlift (1951) Tank Girl (1995) That’s Entertainment, Part II (1976) Timecop (1994) What’s Up, Doc? (1972) Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993) Young Man with a Horn (1950).