Porter, Cole

Porter, Cole

▪ American composer and lyricist
in full  Cole Albert Porter 
born June 9, 1891, Peru, Ind., U.S.
died Oct. 15, 1964, Santa Monica, Calif.
 American composer and lyricist who brought a worldly élan to the American musical and who embodied 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 wealthly, 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, and this 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 horse-riding accident in 1937 left him a semi-invalid, necessitating 30 operations and the eventual amputation of a leg.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Porter, Cole — (1891 1964)    Prolific songwriter Cole Porter was educated at Worcester Academy, Yale, and Harvard’s law and music schools. Having already written several musical comedies and hundreds of songs while at Yale, in 1916 he and T. Lawrason Riggs… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Porter, Cole (Albert) — born June 9, 1891, Peru, Ind., U.S. died Oct. 15, 1964, Santa Monica, Calif. U.S. composer and lyricist. Porter was born to an affluent family and studied violin and piano as a child and composed an operetta at age 10. As a student at Yale… …   Universalium

  • Porter, Cole (Albert) — (9 jun. 1891, Peru, Indiana, EE.UU.–15 oct. 1964, Santa Mónica, Cal.). Compositor y letrista estadounidense. Nacido en el seno de una familia acaudalada, estudió violín y piano desde niño y compuso una opereta a la edad de 10 años. Mientras… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Porter,Cole Albert — Por·ter (pôrʹtər, pōrʹ ), Cole Albert. 1891? 1964. American composer and lyricist remembered for his witty and sophisticated Broadway scores for musicals such as Anything Goes (1929). * * * …   Universalium

  • Porter, Cole — ► (1893 1964) Compositor estadounidense. Autor de revistas musicales y partituras para cine …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cole Porter — Cole Porter, composer and songwriter Born June 9, 1891(1891 06 09) Peru, Indiana, U.S. Died October 15, 1964 …   Wikipedia

  • Cole Porter — Datos generales Nombre real Cole Albert Porter Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Porter — (izg. pórter), Cole (1892 1964) DEFINICIJA američki kompozitor i tekstopisac zabavne glazbe s elementima jazza i mjuzikla (Anything Goes, Kiss Me Kate, Silk Stockings), jedan od najsofisticiranijih pisaca urbanog šlagera američke scene 1930 ih do …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Porter — Porter, Cole (1891 1964) a US musician who wrote many popular songs and ↑musicals (=plays or films that use singing and dancing to tell a story) . His songs are still popular, and are admired for their clever and amusing words. They include Night …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Cole Porter — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Porter. Cole Porter Cole Porter …   Wikipédia en Français

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