Cole Porter (1891 – 1964) is arguably the greatest popular songwriter of the twentieth century. I read somewhere that he composed around 1,000 songs, not all of which are as brilliant as ‘Night and Day’, ‘I get a Kick out of You ‘ and ‘Anything Goes ‘. One is called ‘Ours ‘and was written for the rather forgotten comedy musical of 1936 ‘Red Hot and Blue ‘, in which Bob Hope, Ethel Merman and Jimmy Durante starred. Somehow or other, along with some unrelated letters, I acquired a tiny fragment of the original manuscript which the maestro had given to a lady to give to a young man he had taken to. This information was typewritten on a slip of paper that came with the fragment. Here are the words on it:
‘Inclosed (sic) is the original hand writing of Cole Porter…This is a number that Cole Porter gave to Mother to give to one of her pupils, whom Cole Porter was particularly interested in. Mother knows him, and was out to his Beverley Hills home on an interview for this same pupil. Cole Porter is a great artist, and as modest and unassuming and sincere as all artists be.
I know nothing of this Mother, the child who typed the slip, the mysterious male pupil, or whether Cole Porter’s interest in him was purely professional or romantic. It would be nice to solve this little mystery and perhaps trace the remainder of the musical manuscript. I presume that the pupil allowed Mother to cut off the heading as a keepsake of the great man.[R.H.]