William McBrien Cole Porter

ISBN 13: 9780679727927

Cole Porter

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9780679727927: Cole Porter
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In his life and in his music, Cole Porter was the top—the pinnacle of wit and sophistication. From the 1910s through the ‘50s, from Yale pep rallies through the Broadway triumphs of Anything Goes and Kiss Me, Kate, he delighted audiences with a glittering torrent of song: “I Get a Kick Out of You.” “Night and Day,” “Love for Sale,” and “Just One of Those Things.” The bright surface of these gems—their catchy melodies and ingenious lyrics—made them instant pop hits. Their more subtle qualities and their musical and emotional depth have made them lasting standards, among the greatest glories of the American songbook.
 
In Cole Porter, William McBrien has thoroughly captured the creator of these songs, whose life was one not only of wealth and privilege but also of tragedy, secrecy, and courage. A prodigal young man, Porter found his aesthetic and emotional anchor in a long, loving, if sexless marriage, while continuing to maintain many discreet affairs with men. In 1937, at the height of his success, he suffered a near-fatal riding accident; his last eighteen years were marked by pain, drugs, and repeated operations on his legs, years of physical agony but unstinting artistic achievement. Here is the book that Porter’s fans have long hoped for—a life that informs the great music and lyrics though illuminating glimpses of the hidden, complicated, private man.

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Review:

It's not quite as witty as a Porter song (who could equal the incomparable Cole?), but this thorough biography honors the Broadway musical's worldliest, most intelligent composer by taking him seriously. Voluminous research buttresses William McBrien's portrait of a charmed life scarred by tragedy. Born in 1891, Porter left his wealthy family in Indiana to thoroughly enjoy himself at Yale University in Connecticut, where his sassy songs gave the Midwestern outsider social clout. Although exclusively homosexual, Porter was nonetheless devoted to the wealthy widow he married in 1919, and McBrien's narrative of their 1920s travels through Europe captures the glamorous sheen of their life together. Porter had some early success with shows like Fifty Million Frenchmen, but his sustained run of hits began in 1932 with Gay Divorce, continuing through the '50s and Kiss Me Kate. The author liberally quotes from Porter's deliciously naughty lyrics, reminding us how corny most show tunes seem when compared to "Love for Sale" or "Anything Goes." McBrien's painful account of the ghastly aftermath of a 1937 riding accident, which left Porter in pain that ended only with his death in 1964, reveals a quiet, uncomplaining stoic whose substance matched his dazzling style. --Wendy Smith

From the Publisher:

"A complex and groundbreaking portrait...making use of previously unpublished material...Never-before-seen letters shine light into Porter's ongoing relationships"
--Publishers Weekly

"Read this book...You will spend time with, and get to know, one of the great creative figures of the twentieth century."
--Betty Comden, The New York Observer

"Loaded with juicy gossip...He succeeds in evoking Porter's white-tie-and-orchids set. When his wife, Linda, was asked why she seldom used the Rolls-Royce Porter gave her, she answered, 'It bruises my sables.'"
--Edward Karam, People

"A fine biography"
--David Walton, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Fascinating...engaging"
--Adrienne Miller, Esquire

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780394582351: Cole Porter: A Biography

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0394582357 ISBN 13:  9780394582351
Publisher: Knopf, 1998
Hardcover

9780006375364: Cole Porter : The Definitive Biography

Harper..., 1999
Softcover

9780002154956: Cole Porter: The Definitive Biography

Harper..., 1998
Hardcover

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. 1st Vintage Books Ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. In his life and in his music, Cole Porter was the top--the pinnacle of wit and sophistication. From the 1910s through the 50s, from Yale pep rallies through the Broadway triumphs of Anything Goes and Kiss Me, Kate, he delighted audiences with a glittering torrent of song: I Get a Kick Out of You. Night and Day, Love for Sale, and Just One of Those Things. The bright surface of these gems--their catchy melodies and ingenious lyrics--made them instant pop hits. Their more subtle qualities and their musical and emotional depth have made them lasting standards, among the greatest glories of the American songbook. In Cole Porter, William McBrien has thoroughly captured the creator of these songs, whose life was one not only of wealth and privilege but also of tragedy, secrecy, and courage. A prodigal young man, Porter found his aesthetic and emotional anchor in a long, loving, if sexless marriage, while continuing to maintain many discreet affairs with men. In 1937, at the height of his success, he suffered a near-fatal riding accident; his last eighteen years were marked by pain, drugs, and repeated operations on his legs, years of physical agony but unstinting artistic achievement. Here is the book that Porter s fans have long hoped for--a life that informs the great music and lyrics though illuminating glimpses of the hidden, complicated, private man. Seller Inventory # AAS9780679727927

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condition: New. 1st Vintage Books Ed. Language: English . Brand New Book. In his life and in his music, Cole Porter was the top--the pinnacle of wit and sophistication. From the 1910s through the 50s, from Yale pep rallies through the Broadway triumphs of Anything Goes and Kiss Me, Kate, he delighted audiences with a glittering torrent of song: I Get a Kick Out of You. Night and Day, Love for Sale, and Just One of Those Things. The bright surface of these gems--their catchy melodies and ingenious lyrics--made them instant pop hits. Their more subtle qualities and their musical and emotional depth have made them lasting standards, among the greatest glories of the American songbook. In Cole Porter, William McBrien has thoroughly captured the creator of these songs, whose life was one not only of wealth and privilege but also of tragedy, secrecy, and courage. A prodigal young man, Porter found his aesthetic and emotional anchor in a long, loving, if sexless marriage, while continuing to maintain many discreet affairs with men. In 1937, at the height of his success, he suffered a near-fatal riding accident; his last eighteen years were marked by pain, drugs, and repeated operations on his legs, years of physical agony but unstinting artistic achievement. Here is the book that Porter s fans have long hoped for--a life that informs the great music and lyrics though illuminating glimpses of the hidden, complicated, private man. Seller Inventory # AAS9780679727927

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