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Cole Porter
Background information
Born (1891-06-09)June 9, 1891
Peru, Indiana, U.S.
Died October 15, 1964(1964-10-15) (aged 73)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.

Cole Albert Porter (June 9, 1891 – October 15, 1964) was an American composer and songwriter. He wrote musical comedies like Kiss Me, Kate, Fifty Million Frenchmen, DuBarry Was a Lady and Anything Goes. He also wrote songs like "Night and Day," "I Get a Kick out of You," "Well, Did You Evah!" and "I've Got You Under My Skin." He was well known for his clever lyrics and rhymes. He wrote a lot of songs that are in the Great American Songbook.

Early life

Porter was born in Peru, Indiana, to a rich Baptist family. One of his grandfathers made a lot of money from coal and timber. He had control over the family. Porter started learning music when he was very young. He learned the violin at age six and the piano at eight. He and his mother wrote an operetta when he was 10. His mother, Kate, was very supportive. His grandfather J.O. Cole wanted him become a lawyer, He went to Worcester Academy in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1905 and then Yale University in 1909.

When he was at Yale, he wrote 300 songs, including football fight songs that are still played at Yale today.

Porter went to Harvard Law School in 1913 for a year. He then moved into Arts and Sciences.

In 1915, his song, "Esmeralda", was played on Broadway. He had a musical on Broadway in 1916, but it did not do well.

Porter was not doing very well with his music so he went to Paris, France. He was working there when World War I started. He travelled all over Europe, and then joined the French Foreign Legion in 1917. He was a soldier in North Africa, and then he taught American soldiers how to shoot.

Porter was married to Linda Lee Thomas (1883-1954) from 1919 until her death.

Later life

Porter started having musicals on Broadway again in 1926. He wrote some famous songs like "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love", "What Is This Thing Called Love?" and "Night and Day".

He threw lots of parties and had an exciting social life in the 1920s and 1930s. He became very successful with his musicals and songs.

In 1937, Porter had an accident when he was horse-riding. He had a lot of pain and had to have many operations. He became depressed after that. He kept working and in 1948 he wrote a very popular musical called Kiss Me, Kate. He won a Tony Award for the musical. He also wrote music for movies.

In 1952, Porter's mother died. In 1954, his wife died. In 1958, he had to have his injured leg amputated (cut off). After all these bad things happened, he retired. He died of kidney failure in 1964 in Santa Monica, California. He was 73.

Tributes and legacy

Porter family gravesite in Peru, Indiana

Many artists have recorded Porter songs, and dozens have released entire albums of his songs. Among the many album collections of Porter songs are the following: Oscar Peterson Plays the Cole Porter Songbook (1959); Anita O'Day Swings Cole Porter with Billy May (1959); All Through the Night: Julie London Sings the Choicest of Cole Porter (1965); Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Cole Porter (1982); Anything Goes: Stephane Grappelli & Yo-Yo Ma Play (Mostly) Cole Porter (1989) and Love for Sale (Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, 2021).

In May 2007, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was dedicated to Porter. In December 2010, his portrait was added to the Hoosier Heritage Gallery in the office of the Governor of Indiana. Numerous symphony orchestras have paid tribute to Porter in the years since his death including Seattle Symphony Orchestra, with Marvin Hamlisch as conductor and the Boston Pops, both in 2011. The Cole Porter Festival is held every year in June in his hometown of Peru, Indiana, to foster music and art appreciation. Costumed singers in the cabaret-style Cole Porter Room at the Indiana Historical Society's Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in Indianapolis take requests from visitors and perform Porter's hit songs. Since Porter's death, except for a brief time at the New York Historical Society, his 1908 Steinway grand piano, which he had used when composing since the mid-1930s, has been displayed and often played in the lobby of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Porter is a member of the American Theater Hall of Fame and Great American Songbook Hall of Fame, which recognized his "musically complex [songs] with witty, urbane lyrics". In 2014, Porter was honored with a plaque on the Legacy Walk in Chicago, which celebrates LGBT achievers.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Cole Porter para niños

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