Tributes to the late American composer Cole Porter are all the rage these days. From a recent award-winning production of Anything Goes in London, an Evening of Porter with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, to the big screen portrait of Porter's life in De-Lovely, his songs remain timeless. A brand new Cole Porter tribute features legendary performers from yesterday and today.
Cole Porter lived until the age of 72, and at no time during his most prolific years as a lyricist and composer did his music ever go out of style. Today, his many songs are as popular as ever, maybe even more so with musical revivals, feature films and CDs.
One legend performing the music of another, Dinah Washington with Cole Porter's "I Get A Kick Out Of You," recorded in 1955. The song first appeared on Broadway in Anything Goes.
Five years later, Tony Bennett grabbed the spotlight with an all-out, big band rendition of "Begin The Beguine," one of Porter's contributions to the 1935 musical Jubilee.
Born in the Midwest, Cole Porter attended Yale University where he wrote more than 300 songs, and was voted "most entertaining" member of his class. He tried Harvard Law School, but he dropped out to pursue his music career in New York City. His first big hit was "Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)," from the Broadway show Paris.
Jazzman Louis Armstrong was best-known as a trumpeter, but some of his greatest moments on stage and in the studio happened when he sang. He recorded Cole Porter's ?Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)" in 1957.
Cole Porter had just the right combination of sophistication and passion, ingredients for success on the Broadway stage. Lyricist Alan Jay Lerner once said, "Cole was the only composer and lyric writer in the entire musical world who ever knew how to write a passionate song."
Shirley Horn, who turned 70 years old this year, made her first recordings on the Mercury label in the early-1960s, including "Love For Sale."
Horn is one of 17 vocalists on the new compilation album, The Very Best Of Cole Porter. The tribute album also features Sarah Vaughan, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Billy Holiday, Dean Martin, Fred Astaire, Aaron Neville, Carmen McRae, and Ella Fitzgerald who sings the Porter classic from "Kiss Me Kate," "Too Darn Hot."