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Cole Porter

Our Cole Porter Photos and Interesting Facts

Cole Porter, who wrote the music for the musical Anything Goes, hails from Peru, Indiana. His father was at one time the wealthiest man in Indiana. His house can still be viewed on the original site.

As a child, Cole would attend elementary school in Peru and then travel to Marion (Hey, that's 4 miles from my hometown of Gas City!) to take music lessons. He led a life that seemed full of opportunity, eventually attending both Harvard and Yale. The Dean of the Harvard Law School suggested to Cole that he would be better suited studying at the Harvard School of Music, so he changed his direction away from law and dedicated himself to the music profession, with his sights set on Broadway. It is a huge understatement to say that he was successful.

Cole was born on June 9, 1893 and he died on October 15, 1964 at the age of 71. He is buried at a family gravesite in Mt. Hope Cemetery in Peru. (See below for the circumstances of his death and a picture of his specific grave marker.)

The musical "Anything Goes" and one of the main characters, Reno Sweeney, is loosely based on the life of Aimee Semple McPherson 1890 -- 1944.



Amiee was an Evangelist, born near Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada. She was the daughter of a Salvation Army soldier. She married a Pentacostal missionary and was widowed "way, way out in China" in 1910. She returned to North America with her daughter and set out on a career as an evangelist, offering a fundamentalist message of hope and salvation that brought in enormous money contributions over the course of some 25 years. She'd "marry 'em and divorce 'em, marry 'em and divorce 'em" again, (thus all her names!}. Often accompanied by her mother, she traveled around the U.S.A. to conduct her revival meetings. Flamboyant and innovative, she expanded her Los Angeles-based (after 1918) evangelical empire by adding a radio station, a Bible school, and a magazine. She was often accused of improprieties, but nothing was ever proved. She died in Oakland, Calif., of an overdose of sleeping powders.

Cole Porter wrote what is considered by many to be his most popular song, "Anything Goes," in 1934. The play is built around that title song, however Porter considered "I Get A Kick Out of You" to be his best song in the show and purposely placed it near the beginning of the show (in the first 5 minutes) breaking a Broadway tradition in order to teach some of his "high society" friends a lesson about their rude habit of arriving as much as 20 minutes late to a Broadway show in order to "make an entrance." The ploy worked and many of his "friends" never forgave him for this. Cole merely smiled when told of their displeasure.

While he had the means and desire to travel abroad, living much of his life in Paris, Cole enjoyed New York City and he was a very popular figure in Hollywood in the 1950's as evidenced by these two letters:

Here are some the films that feature music by Cole Porter:

  • The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  • Anything Goes (1936)
  • Born to Dance (1936)
  • Rosalie (1937)
  • The More the Merrier (1943)
  • The Pirate (1943)
  • Hollywood Canteen (1944)
  • Young Man with a Horn (1950)
  • Night and Day (1946)
  • Lullaby of Broadway (1951)
  • High Society (1956)
  • Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
  • Forget Paris (1995)
  • Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

Cole and "Silk Stockings"

In 1937, Cole fell from his horse while riding on Long Island and broke both legs rather severely. He never fully recovered, walking with a cane the rest of his life. Eventually, in 1958, Cole lost one of his legs to amputation as circulatory problems occurred and he died of complications and declining health in 1964.

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1999, 2000, 2001