Cole Porter

One of the greatest and most popular songwriters in American musical history, Cole Porter's vast catalogue includes classic songs like Anything Goes, High Society, Always True To You (In My Fashion) and You're The Top, as well as a string of successful musicals and film scores. Born into a wealthy Baptist family in Indiana, he learned to play violin at the age of six and the piano at eight and wrote his first operetta with his mother at ten. He studied at both Yale University and Harvard Law School before abandoning a legal career to devote himself to music, achieving his first success with the song Esmeralda, which was featured in the 1915 revue Hands Up. Porter moved to Paris in the Great War and claimed to have served in the French Foreign Legion, after which he maintained a lavish lifestyle and was a famous party giver. His musical works encompassed everything from ballet to jazz, but it was on Broadway where he achieved his greatest successes, enjoying his first major hit in 1928 with the musical Paris, including lyrical masterpieces like Let's Misbehave and Let's Do It. Hollywood came calling and other hits followed, including What Is This Thing Called Love and You Do Something To Me from the 1929 show Fifty Million Frenchmen. Other notable Porter shows included Gay Divorce (1932), Nymph Errant (1933), Anything Goes (1934), Jubilee (1935) and Born To Dance (1936), which included one of his greatest songs I've Got You Under My Skin. During the 1940s he split his time between Broadway and Hollywood and in 1948 achieved one of his biggest hits with Kiss Me Kate, then the longest-running show of all time. Porter continued to be prolific in the 1950s, writing his last major song True Love for the movie High Society in 1956, but his career effectively ended after his leg was amputated following a riding accident. He died of kidney failure in 1964, aged 73.

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Stations Featuring Cole Porter

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