Sunday, October 15, 2006

On this day in 1964 we lost Cole Porter. If ever there was an amazing songwriter it was this incredibly talented man. His grandfather (not his father) dictated the entire family. You just didn't cross grandfather in some families back then! Whatever this man said-- you did. And although his saintly mother gave him piano lessons early and he learned the violin by age six, young Cole Porter went to Yale to become a lawyer. He soon got involved in the theatrics division here. Fortunatly for the world, a wise teacher advised him to get out of the classes he was doing poorly in and re-major in music. Believe or not in these four short college years, Cole Porter had written three hundred songs -- many of which are still used today, especially in sports and school spirit categories. After his first musical was a spectacular failure, and after two more bad turns, he went to live in Paris living off of grandfather's trust-- strict grandfather had no idea he had quit the law program--thank goodness. He was here he met Linda Bennett, eight years his senior and a woman who was already tired of sex after being very abused by her first mother. IF Cole Porter was bi-sexual, it cetainly didn't matter to her-- she was delighted to the wife of a prolific songwriter. Of course, dear Cole slept with many men one of whom he wrote the classic song "So Easy To Love" for. His polo accident was the one injury that almost felled this great man. He was in constant pain. He was portrayed so brilliantly by Kevin Kline in the motion picture "De Lovely" Who can forget "Blow Gabriel Blow" "Can Can" "Lets Fall In Love" "Begin the Beguine" (which Irving Berlin labeled "The long long song") The 30's were his greatest period before a long dry spell that ended with the classic Broadway musical "Kiss Me Kate" Tonight, Mary Poppins opens in previews on Broadway. This is certainly a drastic change from the classic Walt Disney motion picture of 1964. But change is good and this is 2006--not 1964 and thirty-eight years does call for a new angle on this classic old story. Thank goodness the Sherman Brothers tunes are still in this ptoduction. I would wonder what kind of songs they might have contributed to this had they been so allowed. Well thats about it for today. Tonight also marks the anniversary of the first broadcast of "I Love Lucy"-- in 1955. I remember that night from my childhood-- I was eight years old. My entire family was gathered around the television set! Grand memories from long, long ago!


Tony W said...

I am going to see "Mary Poppins" this Thursday. I hope it's wonderful! Julie Andrews has given it her blessing so hopefully that will break the "curse".

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