Born on this day, composer/lyricist Cole Porter (1893-1964) was raised on a 700-acre farm in Peru, Indiana and learned piano and violin at age six.
The remarkable musician published his first song at 11 and went on to create songs for Broadway and Hollywood that are classics-- music that defines elegance and sophistication, known for doubles-entendres and wit. His smash musicals include Anything Goes (1934) and Kiss Me, Kate (1948).
A man of charm, culture, and wealth, Porter was physically small and slender with slicked-back hair and a round, baby-face. He wrote the song Night and Day for his friend Fred Astaire.
I Love Paris and C'est Magnifique, captured Porter's genuine passion for the City of Lights, where he lived and flourished during the 20s. Begin the Beguine ("It brings back the sound of music so tender/It brings back a night of tropical splendor.") made you want to glide across the ballroom dance floor.
His songs became standards for Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Tony Bennett. "Is it the whiskey, this feeling of joy/Or is what I feel, the real McCoy...Is it a fancy, not worth thinking of/Or is it at long last love?" Porter asked in At Long Last Love.
Don't Fence Me In, a send-up, became a singing cowboy's favorite hearty croon: "Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above, don't fence me in." Bing Crosby's recording sold over a million copies and topped the Billboard charts for eight weeks in 1944-45.
Crippled in a 1938 horse-riding accident, Porter continued to write his unique catchy lyrics and harmonious melodies... with enthusiasm.
With enthusiasm, dare to be different.