All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrappages and hulls! – Thomas Carlyle
Cole Porter was born on this day in 1891 in Peru, Indiana. Cole Porter’s name derives from the surnames of his parents, Kate Cole and Sam Porter. He had an advantage in life because his family was wealthy. He was raised on a 750-acre fruit ranch. His wealthy, domineering grandfather did not like the fact that Cole wanted to pursue a career in music.
His mother introduced him to the violin and the piano. Cole started riding horses at age six and began to studying piano at eight at Indiana’s Marion Conservatory. By age ten, he had begun to compose songs, and his first song was entitled “Song of the Birds”.
Cole was classically trained and very talented. He was drawn towards musical theatre. He didn’t have immediate success, but eventually achieved success in the 1920’s. By the 1930’s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. The impressive fact is that he not only wrote the music, but the lyrics for his songs.
He wrote over 800 songs and had a flair for wit. He composed toe-tapping songs like “Night and Day” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
In 1937 his life was marred by a riding accident that left him unable to walk. In spite of that, he continued writing and was quite successful – going on to write some of the best-loved standards of all time.
Today let’s celebrate Cole Porter’s birthday by watching the wonderful movie, “Mr. Holland’s Opus”. Here is the final scene. If you don’t own this movie – you really should get it.
I’m such a fan of show tunes. Cole Porter’s light-hearted humor and sophistication shine through in his compositions. I enjoy playing them and listening to other musician’s interpretations.
Happy Birthday, Cole Porter! 🙂