Did you know?

The composer and songwriter Cole Porter would have been 133 years old a couple of weeks ago. He learned piano and violin as a child and eventually wrote over 800 songs, many which have become standards and now known as The Great American Songbook. He wrote his first song at the age of 11 and his mother helped him get it published. His first musical was See America First which went to Broadway but was a relative failure. The following year he moved to France. There are claims he served in the French Foreign Legion and he married in 1919. In 1937 a horse riding accident, which involved his horse falling on top of him crushing both his legs, left him unable to walk and the pain got so bad that he eventually, after initial refusals and then over 30 operations, had his leg amputated and replaced with an artificial one.

His biggest success came in the late twenties when Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love) from the show Paris (1928) was a big Broadway hit. This was followed by Gay Divorce (1932), which starred Fred Astaire and Anything Goes (1934) which featured the well-known songs I Get a Kick Out of You and You’re the Top.

Cole Porter died of kidney failure in October 1964 aged 73.

Porter’s songs have endured and even though most of his songs were written way before the UK chart began in 1952, 17 of them have made the UK chart, here is the list.

Artist Title Position Year
Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly True Love 4 1956
Sammy Davis Jr All Of You 28 1956
Al Saxon You’re The Top-Cha 17 1959
Kenny Ball and His Jazzmen Samantha 13 1961
Terry Lightfoot’s, New Orleans Jazzmen True Love 33 1961
Richard Chamberlain True Love 30 1963
Four Seasons I’ve Got You Under My Skin 12 1966
Harpers Bizarre Anything Goes 33 1967
Gary Shearston I Get A Kick Out Of You 7 1974
Julio Iglesias Begin The Beguine (Volver A Empezar) 1 1981
Simply Red Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye 11 1987
Shakin’ Stevens True Love 23 1988
Neneh Cherry I’ve Got You Under My Skin 25 1990
Deborah Harry and Iggy Pop Well, Did You Evah! 42 1991
Simply Red Love For Sale 11 1992
Elton John & Kiki Dee True Love 2 1993
Frank Sinatra with Bono I’ve Got You Under My Skin 4 1993