News

    Cole Porter Receives Star on Hollywood Hall of Fame

    The songwriter and composer Cole Porter has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 43 years after his death. Mike O'Sullivan reports that some who knew the Broadway great gathered in Hollywood to celebrate his music.

    Cole Porter wrote more than 1,500 songs, including such American standards as "I Love Paris," "My Heart Belongs To Daddy," and "Let's Fall in Love."

    In a Hollywood nightclub, the musical duo KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler performed for a crowd of veteran Broadway and Hollywood stars, some of whom knew and worked with Porter.

    The actress Anne Jeffreys remembers Cole Porter for his clever, sophisticated lyrics and beautiful music. She spent two years on the road with the national company of Porter's hit musical "Kiss Me Kate."

    "887 consecutive, I never missed a show, performances. We opened in Los Angeles for three months. Then we played San Francisco for three months. And then we were in Chicago for 11 months, of which we played seven nights a week. So every time it got dark, I just headed for the theater, and it became my life," she said.

    Then she played in "Kiss Me Kate" on Broadway for another year.

    Betty Garrett got her big break on Broadway in the Cole Porter show "Something for the Boys," and says she was in awe of the great composer. She says that Porter was quick to change something that was not working out. She recalls how he changed a song that came in the second act of the play, as the heroine was in a railroad station. "And I was sitting on my suitcase singing very sadly, 'So long, San Antonio. Too bad we had to part.' Well, the audience fell asleep, it was so slow and so sad. So naturally Cole had to write another song for me," she said.

    Porter asked her what kind of music she liked. She said traditional folk songs and boogie woogie, a lively form of jazz that dates to the 1920s. Within two hours, Porter had created a composition with elements of both. It arrived at her hotel room in an envelope.

    "And in it was this song that went, (singing) "I'm in love with a soldier boy, so in love with a soldier boy." Ethel Merman also sang the song, and Betty Garrett says it was a show-stopper whoever sang it.

    Cole Porter was born in the small town of Peru, Indiana.  A distant cousin, Daniel Roberts, came from Indiana to Hollywood for the celebration. He recalls meeting the songwriter, who returned to his hometown when Roberts was a teenager in 1952. "And he was just so nice, so warm. He just had gentle class. Just a wonderful man," he said.

    Daniel's son, Ward Roberts, never met his famous relative, but has grown up with Cole Porter's music. "Absolute standards. A lot of people probably hear his songs once or twice a day and might not even know it. But you go in to get a cup of coffee, and a lot of times you're going to hear Frank Sinatra singing a Cole Porter song. It's great," he said.

    Cole Porter has been credited with writing some of the funniest, catchiest, and most romantic songs ever written for Broadway, including many that live on as part of America's musical heritage.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora