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Something for the Boys

Donald Macleod discusses Cole Porter's war years and his biggest success, Kiss Me, Kate.

He was one of the most famous Broadway composers of his time, and many of his songs still live on in our consciousness today, this week Donald Macleod explores the life and music of Cole Porter.

Cole Porter suffered a serious riding accident which left him with two crushed legs. His wife, Linda, demanded that his doctors save both Porter's legs, as she feared that an amputation would finish him. As Porter recuperated, he worked on the show Leave It To Me, followed by Du Barry Was A Lady. Reviewers in the UK reckoned that this second show wasn't the best of Cole Porter, but they did concede that even his second best was very good.

The Second World War was now underway, but Porter continued to hold lavish entertainments, including pool parties where a number of attractive servicemen would always be invited along. His new musical, Something For The Boys, starred Ethel Merman and included one of Porter's popular patter songs, By the Mississinewah.

Porter also became romantically involved with the dancer and choreographer, Nelson Barclift. Linda Porter was aware of her husband's homosexuality but, as long as it was kept private, she didn't mind. As Porter's affairs became more of an open secret around hollywood, their relationship became a little cool. However, the 1940s were to bring Porter his greatest success ever, with a show the critics had originally forecast would be a total flop, Kiss Me Kate.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Cole Porter

    Overture, from Leave It To Me

    Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: John McGlinn.
    • EMI: CDC7543002.
    • EMI.
    • 14.
  • Judy Garland

    Friendship

    Singer: Johnny Mercer. Orchestra: Ed Starink.
    • River Productions: RRCD423.
    • River Productions.
    • 10.
  • Cole Porter

    Gavotte, from Du Barry Was A Lady

    Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: John McGlinn.
    • EMI: CDC7543002.
    • EMI.
    • 18.
  • Cole Porter

    Dream Dancing, from You'll Never Get Rich

    Singer: Fred Astaire. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra.
    • River Productions: RRCD423.
    • River Productions.
    • 13.
  • Cole Porter

    Since I Kissed My Baby Goodbye, from You'll Never Get

    Singer: David Allen. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra.
    • Painted Smiles Records: PSCD-121.
    • Painted Smiles Records.
    • 6.
  • Cole Porter

    Overture, from Something For The Boys

    Orchestra: London Sinfonietta. Conductor: John McGinn.
    • EMI: CDC7543002.
    • EMI.
    • 18.
  • Cole Porter

    Something for the boys - By the Mississinewah

    Singer: Paula Laurence. Singer: Betty Garrett.
    • EMI: 72434985232A.
    • EMI.
    • 13.
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Don't Fence Me In

    • VERVE : 821-990-2.
    • VERVE.
    • 16.
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye

    • VERVE : 537-257-2.
    • VERVE.
    • 11.
  • Frank Sinatra

    What Is This Thing Called Love?

    • Capitol Records: CDP7966112.
    • Capitol Records.
    • 3.
  • Ella Fitzgerald

    Miss Otis Regrets

    • VERVE : 821-989 2.
    • VERVE.
    • 3.
  • Frank Sinatra

    You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To

    • Capitol Records: CDP7966112.
    • Capitol Records.
    • 10.
  • Cole Porter

    Something To Shout About, from Something to Shout About

    Singer: Sandy Stewart. Singer: Arthur Siegel. Singer: Ann Hampton Callaway. Ensemble: Studio-Ensemble.
    • Painted Smiles Records: PSCD-12.
    • Painted Smiles Record.
    • 17.
  • Cole Porter

    Look What I Found, from Around the World in Eighty Days

    Singer: Sandy Stewart. Ensemble: Studio-Ensemble.
    • Painted Smiles Records: PSCD-12.
    • Painted Smiles Record.
    • 20.
  • Cole Porter

    Should I Tell You I Love You, from Around the World in Eighty Days

    Singer: Sandy Stewart. Ensemble: Studio-Ensemble.
    • Painted Smiles Records: PSCD-12.
    • Painted Smiles Record.
    • 3.
  • Cole Porter

    So In Love, from Kiss Me Kate

    Singer: Patricia Morison. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra.
    • Angel: ZDM0777776476025.
    • Angel.
    • 5.
  • Richard Strauss

    Festival Prelude

    Conductor: Vasily Petrenko. Performer: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

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