On June 9th, 1891, 128 years ago today, composer Cole Porter was born in Peru, Indiana.
He wrote songs that became Broadway and movie mainstays ... songs rich in sophisticated and witty lyrics. Among them, "Let's Do It":
Birds do it, bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let's do it, let's fall in love
In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking.
But now, God knows,
"Night and Day"
Night and day, you are the one
Only you beneath the moon or under the sun
Whether near to me or far
It's no matter, darling, where you are
I think of you
Night and day
"Just One of Those Things"
So goodbye, dear, and Amen
Here's hoping we'll meet now and then
It was great fun
But it was just one of those things
And "You're the Top"
You're the Nile, You're the Tow'r of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa.
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, Baby, I'm the bottom,
You're the top!
A gay man in an oppressive time, Porter took refuge in a years-long marriage of convenience with the wealthy (and tolerant) socialite Linda Lee Thomas.
And a horse-riding accident led to years of operations and the eventual amputation of a leg.
Still, nothing can take away from the Tonys Porter won in 1949 for the musical "Kiss Me, Kate," the current revival of which just happens to be up for Tony honors tonight.
Cole Porter died in 1964 at the age of 73, but all these years later he still is, dare we say it, "The Top."
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Story produced by Charis Satchell.