December 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Curio Corner

Compilation
Cole PORTER   – Original recordings 1930-1943
  Various artists and orchestras
  NAXOS 8.120627  

cole porter

What a wonderful talent Cole Porter was glorious melodies, sophisticated romantic or witty lyrics for so many memorable songs.

This compilation comprises 18 tracks recorded between 1930 and 1943. Artists include: Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, Elizabeth Welch, Frances Langford with Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra, Ray Noble and his Orchestra, Judy Garland and Johnny Mercer with Victor Young and his Orchestra, Ethel Merman, Mary Martin and Eddy Duchin's Orchestra, Anne Shelton with Ambrose and his Orchestra, and Bud Flanagan and Frances Day singing the title song from this album – the naughty 'But in the morning no.'

Cole Porter was quite capable of writing naughty lyrics for his songs and 'But in the morning no' is one of the best-known examples. The lyrics include such lines as "Do you like the breast stroke dear? Kindly tell me if so … Yes, I like the breast stroke dear but in the morning no…" and "When the sun shines through the blind and burns my poor behind that's the time when I'm in low…" The indefatigable Peter Dempsey coyly ignores this song from his notes. I seem to remember a much more plangent version of this song in another collection of similar songs released many years ago by American artists.

There are other songs here that raise a smile. Foghorn-voiced Ethel Merman doesn't want to hear Brünnhilde even though she "waves a pretty spear" she would rather listen to music that is 'Red, Hot and Blue'. Elizabeth Welch recalls Solomon (and "his 1,000 wives), and Gertrude Lawrence with Ray Noble's Orchestra complaines about 'The Physician' – "he said my bronchial tubes were entrancing, he simply loved my larynx, and went wild about my pharynx, but he never said he loved me.' Then Mary Martin is emphatic that 'My Heart Belongs to Daddy' – "because he treats it so well".

But of course we must not forget those romantic classics: 'What is this thing called love?'; 'Night and day', 'I get a kick out of you'; 'Easy to Love'; 'I've got you under my skin'; and 'You'd be so nice to come home to.' They are all here.

Vintage Cole – what more could you wish for?

Ian Lace

 ****(*)

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