Cole Porter

Cole Porter

Cole Porter was an American composer and songwriter. He was most known for his work and participation on the Broadway Musical Stage.

Cole Albert Porter was born on June 9, 1891 in Peru, Indiana. He drew much of his early influence in music from his mother, who taught him how to play the violin at the age of six. His mother also taught him how to play the piano when he was eight, and by the time he was ten, he had written an operetta of his own. Porter came from a wealthy family, thus his grandfather wanted him to indulge in a prestigious profession. He was sent to Worcester Academy in 1905, and he consequently graduated as class valedictorian. He went on to study at Yale University, where he graduated with major in English, and minor in Music. Porter spent a magnificent four years at Yale, he was part of the Yale Glee Club and he was elected club president in his senior year. He was also part of the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. When it came to music, Porter wrote a variety of student songs, some of which, such as “Bulldog” and “Bingo, that’s the lingo”, are played in Yale to this day. Porter also wrote plenty of musical comedy scores for the Yale Dramatic Society. He then went on to study law at Harvard in accordance to his grandfather’s wishes, however, he was unhappy with law and he secretly switched to Harvard’s music school, where he studied counterpoint with the famous Italian Organist, Pietro Yon.

In 1921, Porter received some considerable attention for two of his comedy numbers, “The Blue Boy Blues” and “Olga, Come Back to the Volga”. He also wrote a ballet called “Within the Quota” which was so successful that it was performed by the Swedish Ballet Company 69 times in America. In 1928, he made his way to the famous Broadway Theatre of New York City, which was famous along with London’s West End Theatres to host the premier works of English Theatre. His musical, “Paris”, was performed in 1928 and it was an instant hit, mostly because of the song it introduced, “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love”. Porter also had a part in writing the great West End success titled “Wake Up and Dream” which was performed over two hundred and sixty times at the famous theatres at London. He then went on to write “The New Yorkers” in 1930 and “Gay Divorce” in 1932. Porter also wrote “Nymph Errant” in 1933. All of these performances had plenty of hit songs, including “Night and Day”, “Experiment”, and “The Physician”.

Porter had major success following the 1930s. “Panama Hattie” ran for five hundred and one performances at Broadway, “Let’s face it” ran for five hundred and forty seven performances, and “Kiss Me, Kate” ran for a whopping one thousand and seventy seven performances. Thus, he established himself as one of the most prolific and successful musical writers in the history of Broadway.

Cole Porter died on October 15, 1964 of Kidney Failure in Santa Monica, California.