SOUNDS OF THE TIMES

You’ve got to hand it to Cole Porter. He’s a rich boy who made good. 
–Oscar Levant (said jokingly of his born-into-wealth friend)

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If you, like me, are a child of parents born in the first decade of the 20th Century, you no doubt have at least a second-hand feel (if not first-hand familiarity) for that time in America known as “The Roaring Twenties” (AKA “The Jazz Age”) and “The Great Depression” (the 1930s). I was born too late in the Depression to recall what I saw then, but what I heard transcends the times. It’s the music, Cupid. Not that it was entirely romantic.

You remember music (take that however you wish). In the words of Lorenz Hart: It’s Easy To Remember (but so hard to forget)….or, put another – Irving Berlin’s – way: The Song Is Ended (but the melody lingers on). Today, however, we celebrate a master songwriter of those times whose music is Easy To Love: Cole Porter, born June 9, 1892.

To that end, I quote Fred Lounsberry, Editor of “103 lyrics of Cole Porter” (Random House):
Mixing of opposites, wide knowledge, spunk, individuality, realism, restraint, rascality, maturity. This is a pretty complete list of what makes Cole Porter’s lyrics delightfully different, but the really primary strength of his lyrics is intelligence, putting all his facts, facilities and philosophies into the right balance to make good entertainment.

So, without further ado, Let’s Do It — let’s do a few of those 1920s & 30s Cole Porter songs that are as likely to parody romantic bliss as to evoke it (including two versions of Let’s Misbehave):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iqqAIZpp2c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ceMwgadNFM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2AiQgnylrE

There, now — that wasn’t so bad, was it?

 

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6 comments on “SOUNDS OF THE TIMES

  1. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks. CP pure class. Regards thom

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  2. mistermuse says:

    Thanks, Thom. I tried to comment on one of your posts (“Fanfare For the Duke”), but it didn’t seem to “take,” so I’ll say here that your mention of Duke Ellington calls to mind other “royalty” from the golden age of jazz: Count Basie, King Oliver and (a little more recent) Nat King Cole.

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  3. Don Frankel says:

    Without any doubt one of the greatest and one of my favorite recordings of all time is…

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  4. mistermuse says:

    Don, it doesn’t get much better than a great singer singing a great song by a great writer….but let it also be noted that for every well-known great Porter song like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” there are many little-known great Porter songs like “At Long Last Love,” “I Concentrate On You,” “Every Time We Say Goodbye” and the two I linked to at the end of my post, “Let’s Misbehave” and “It’s Bad For Me.” They’re good for us to know too!

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  5. Don Frankel says:

    You’re right Muse. Another of my favorites and a little Jobin thrown in too.

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  6. mistermuse says:

    Thanks, Don. I own a whole bunch of Sinatra records, but none with Jobim.

    Like

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