Porter, Cole (Albert)

Porter, Cole (Albert)

biographical name

(born June 9, 1891, Peru, Ind., U.S.—died Oct. 15, 1964, Santa Monica, Calif.) U.S. composer and lyricist. Porter was born to an affluent family and studied violin and piano as a child and composed an operetta at age 10. As a student at Yale University he composed about 300 songs, including “Bulldog”; he went on to study law and then music at Harvard. He made his Broadway debut with the musical comedy See America First (1916). In 1917 he went to France and became an itinerant playboy; though rather openly homosexual, he married a wealthy divorcĂ©e. He wrote songs for the Broadway success Paris (1928), and this led to a series of his own hit musicals, including Anything Goes (1934), Red, Hot and Blue (1934), Kiss Me, Kate (1948), Can-Can (1953), and Silk Stockings (1955). Porter also worked on a number of films, such as High Society (1956). His witty, sophisticated songs, for which he wrote both words and music, include “Night and Day,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Begin the Beguine,” and “I've Got You Under My Skin.” Porter's large output might have been even more vast had not a riding accident in 1937 necessitated 30 operations and eventually the amputation of a leg.

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