Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Anything Goes

Donald Macleod focuses on a succession of Porter triumphs, including the smash-hit Gay Divorce.

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.

By the 1930s, Cole Porter had achieved international success. His show, Gay Divorce, staring Fred Astaire was a smash hit, and included the famous song, Night and Day. After that he worked on the racy story of Nymph Errant, which premiered in London and featured Gertrude Lawrence singing the show stopper, The Physician.

Porter and his wife moved into the Waldorf Hotel, in an apartment above a former American President. The hotel presented porter with a Steinway Grand Piano, and Linda's apartment was festooned daily with fresh white flowers: roses, gardenias and orchids.
Porter was on a roll and his next musical would produce some of his most enduring music. Anything Goes showcased one of his all-time favourite singers, Ethel Merman; he once said of Merman, "she sounds like a band going by".

Night and Day (Gay Divorce)
Fred Astaire, voice
Columbia Studio Orchestra

Solomon (Nymph Errant)
Elizabeth Welch, voice
Ray Noble Orchestra

The Physician (Nymph Errant)
Gertrude Lawrence, voice
Ray Noble Orchestra

I Get a Kick Out of You (Anything Goes)
Ethel Merman, voice
Johnny Green orchestra

Blow Gabriel, Blow (Anything Goes)
Ethel Merman, voice
Studio Orchestra
Jay Blackton, conductor

You're the Top (Anything Goes)
Ella Fitzgerald, voice
Buddy Bergman's Orchestra

Begin the Beguine (Jubilee)
Frank Sinatra, voice
Studio Orchestra

Why Shouldn't I? (Jubilee)
Frank Sinatra, voice
Studio Orchestra

Just One of Those Things (Jubilee)
Frank Sinatra, voice
Studio Orchestra

Rap Tap on Wood (Born to Dance)
Francis Langford, voice
Studio Orchestra
Victor Young, director

Easy to Love (Born to Dance)
Billie Holiday, voice
Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra

I've Got You Under My Skin (Born to Dance)
Virginia Bruce, voice
Studio Orchestra
Eddie Ward, director

In the Still of the Night (Rosalie)
Vaughan Monroe, voice
Jack Marshard and His Orchestra

Rosalie
Lee Sullivan, voice
Leo Reisman and His Orchestra

Get Out of Town (Leave It to Me)
Dolly Elsie, voice
Jack Hylton and His Orchestra

My Heart Belongs to Daddy (Leave It to Me)
Evelyn Dall, voice
Ambrose and His Orchestra

Producer Luke Whitlock.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Cole Porter

    Night and Day, from The Gay Divorce

    Singer: Fred Astaire. Orchestra: Columbia Studio Orchestra.
    • ASV: CDAJA5044.
    • ASV.
    • 10.
  • Cole Porter

    Solomon, from Nymph Errant

    Singer: Elisabeth Welch. Orchestra: Ray Noble Orchestra.
    • Pearl: GEM0111.
    • Pearl:.
    • 22.
  • Cole Porter

    The Physician, from Nymph Errant

    Singer: Gertrude Lawrence. Orchestra: Ray Noble and His Orchestra.
    • Pearl: GEM0111.
    • Pearl:.
    • 23.
  • Frank Sinatra

    Begin the Beguine

    • Columbia : 5078772.
    • Columbia.
    • 2.
  • Ethel Merman

    Blow Gabriel, Blow

    • Pearl: GEM0115.
    • Pearl:.
    • 5.
  • Cole Porter

    You're The Top, from Anything Goes

    Singer: Ella Fitzgerald. Orchestra: Buddy Bergman Orchestra.
    • Verve: 5372572.
    • Pearl:.
    • 8.
  • Frank Sinatra

    Begin the Beguine

    • Columbia : 5078772.
    • Columbia.
    • 2.
  • Frank Sinatra

    Why Shouldn't I?

    • Columbia: 5078772.
    • Columbia.
    • 8.
  • Frank Sinatra

    Just one of those things

    • Columbia: 5078772.
    • Columbia.
    • 9.
  • Cole Porter

    Rap Tap On Wood, from Born to Dance

    Singer: Frances Langford. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Director: Victor Young.
    • Conifer : CDHD181.
    • Conifer.
    • 13.
  • Billie Holiday

    Easy To Love

    • Conifer: CDHD181.
    • Conifer.
    • 14.
  • Cole Porter

    I've Got You Under My Skin, from Born to Dance

    Singer: Virginia Bruce. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Director: Eddie Ward.
    • Conifer: CDHD181.
    • Conifer.
    • 15.
  • Cole Porter

    In The Still Of The Night, from Rosalie

    Singer: Vaughn Monroe. Orchestra: Jack Marshard Orchestra.
    • CONIFER : CDHD-181.
    • CONIFER.
    • 17.
  • Cole Porter

    Rosalie, from Rosalie

    Singer: Lee Sullivan. Orchestra: Leo Reisman Orchestra.
    • Conifer: CDHD181.
    • Conifer.
    • 18.
  • Cole Porter

    Get Out Of Town, from Leave It To Me

    Singer: Dolly Elsie. Orchestra: Jack Hylton & His Orchestra.
    • Old Bean: COLC15.
    • Old Bean.
    • 17.
  • Cole Porter

    My Heart Belongs To Daddy, from Leave It To Me

    Singer: Evelyn Dall. Orchestra: Ambrose and His Orchestra.
    • Old Bean: COLC15.
    • Old Bean.
    • 16.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.