You are here:Home>Book Reviews>Cole Porter by William McBrien

Cole Porter by William McBrien

Cole Porter remains one of the most enduring of American composers, his lyrics & music timeless and memorable. William McBrien gives an honest, straight-forward look at the complicated man who gave the world so many beautiful songs.

Cole Albert Porter was born in Peru, Indiana and composed his first song at age ten. He attended Yale and Harvard for schooling then went off to Paris, France where he joined the French Foreign Legion during World War One. Two years later, Porter had his first Broadway hit.

Throughout this fine, well-crafted biography the reader comes to see Porter the man -- a complex, driven individual, blessed with a genius for composing music. Cole fell in love with and married Linda Lee Thomas, with whom he would remain in love until his death. It was a marriage of 35 years, a marriage in which Porter maintained a loving relationship with Thomas, and as a married couple, were devoted to each other. The book also details Porters homosexual relationships and the horse-riding accident which left him in pain all his life. As a result of this accident he was forced to undergo thirty-one operations over a period of eighteen years and fought against paralysis.

The book covers Cole Porter in toto complete and in detail. There are many photographs and illustrations.

Porter was friends with many composers such as George Gershwin and Irving Berlin. There is an interesting story told about how one night Gershwin and Porter took turns playing songs into the late hours of morning.

People who were part of the Cole Porter legend include among many such individuals as Fred Astaire Phyllis Astaire Noel Coward Frank Sinatra Gene Kelly Taina Elg Claudette Colbert Ethel Merman Howard Sturges George Eells and Clark Gable. Porter knew how to give great costume parties and many celebrities were part of those parties.

Porter's songs are part of the American songbook and include "Night and Day" (1932) "You Do Something To Me" (1929) "You"re the Top" (1934) "Love for Sale" (1930) "Anything Goes" (1934) "Easy to Love" (1936) "You"d be So Nice to Come Home To" (1942) "True Love" (1956).

An outstanding biography one that will entertain the reader. A book that should be in every library for reference. Highly recommended.'Everything you wanted to know plus some about the great American composer Cole Porter will be found in this recent biography! Shocking, entertaining, revealing, and indepth make this one of the finest of biographies about Cole Porter to date. An enjoyable reading experience.

Additional Info

  • Book Title: Cole Porter
  • Author: William McBrien
  • Publisher: Knopf
  • Year Published: 1999
  • Book Type:: Biography
  • ISBN: 394582357
  • Rating: Five Stars
  • Number of Pages: 459
Login to post comments