Cole Porter

Cole Porter

A Biography

Book - 2000
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In his life and in his music, Cole Porter was the top--the pinnacle of wit and sophistication. From the 1910s through the '50s, from Yale pep rallies through the Broadway triumphs of Anything Goes and Kiss Me, Kate , he delighted audiences with a glittering torrent of song: "I Get a Kick Out of You." "Night and Day," "Love for Sale," and "Just One of Those Things." The bright surface of these gems--their catchy melodies and ingenious lyrics--made them instant pop hits. Their more subtle qualities and their musical and emotional depth have made them lasting standards, among the greatest glories of the American songbook.

In Cole Porter , William McBrien has thoroughly captured the creator of these songs, whose life was one not only of wealth and privilege but also of tragedy, secrecy, and courage. A prodigal young man, Porter found his aesthetic and emotional anchor in a long, loving, if sexless marriage, while continuing to maintain many discreet affairs with men. In 1937, at the height of his success, he suffered a near-fatal riding accident; his last eighteen years were marked by pain, drugs, and repeated operations on his legs, years of physical agony but unstinting artistic achievement. Here is the book that Porter's fans have long hoped for--a life that informs the great music and lyrics though illuminating glimpses of the hidden, complicated, private man.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 2000.
Edition: 1st Vintage Books ed.
Copyright Date: ©1998
ISBN: 9780679727927
Characteristics: xiii, 459 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


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Mar 02, 2018

Born (1891) into a very wealthy family in the town of Peru, Indiana - (composer/songwriter) Cole Porter was not only one of the major songwriters for Broadway stage musicals during the 1930s - But he was also notable for writing songs for Hollywood musicals in the 1940s and 50s, as well.

Believe it, or not - Porter wrote a staggering 800 songs throughout his lifetime.

But, of course - There was a very private side (kept from the public) to Cole Porter that centred around a flamboyantly extravagant and, yes, scandalously reckless lifestyle of being an extremely vain, globe-trotting gay man.

Exhaustively written by author, William McBrien - This highly-detailed "Cole Porter" biography (of 460 pages) also includes a 16-page photo gallery, as well.

*Note* - In 1964 - Cole Porter (73 at the time) died of kidney failure.

Actually, I'm enjoying this read quite a bit though I wouldn't wish it any longer! As a Porter enthusiast, I look for details about how the composer worked at his craft. This book delivers on that score (no pun intended). Perhaps too much detail on other matters but, hey, his was a fascinating life, fun to read about in its own right.


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