COLE WIDE WEB, at www.coleporter.org The Cole Porter Resource Site


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If you want to add items, please email me all the publication and purchase information. Biographies are listed in the order of how much I know about them. Clicking on titles links to details and the option to purchase it at Amazon.com. If you link from this site to Amazon.com and purchase it there, you will help support Cole Wide Web, a community service. Although it's not a book, by popular request I additionally list one biography below in video format.

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General Cole Porter Resources

The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter
  Kimball, Robert, 1992, Da Capo
A "must have" for any true Cole Porter fan or music researcher. This is an excellent collection. Of particular note is an awesome "phrase index" to look up common phrases and quotes in order to find what song contains a certain popular lyric. Includes detailed copyright information for those who want to use the lyrics.

A Cole Porter Discography
  Rimler, Walter, 1995, N Charles Sylvan.
An excellent comprehensive discography. This includes old and rare recordings. Finding old and rare recordings might prove difficult and/or impossible, but at least you will know what to look for. A complete reference for collectors.

Catalog of the American Musical
  Tommy Krasker, Robert Kimball , 1998, John M. Ludwig
Intended for research purposes. It lists only the shows and has no information on songs written for films or for parties or special occasions, etc. It has a one page summary of the information known about the show and where to go to find the material and then it breaks the score down and tells you where to find the individual songs.Includes musicals of Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rogers & Lorenz Hart. Also available in hardback.

Cole Porter Biographies

Note that there is an web-based official Cole Wide Web biography of Cole Porter that you can read online.

Cole Porter: a Biography
  Schwartz, Charles, 1979, Da Capo Press
This is the most commonly available biography in bookstores. If you want more information about the famous people and beautiful parties, this is the place. In my opinion, this book is painfully written, but the parties and sexual liasons are well documented.

Cole Porter, A Biography
  McBrien, William, 1998, Albert A. Knopf
The publisher was nice enough to send me a copy of this new biography. I haven't read it yet, but a quick scan of it looks promising, and it's been well reviewed by book reviewers. (give it a try)

Red, Hot, and Rich, an Oral History
  Grafton, David, 1987, Stein and Day
A non-linear read of his life. This is composed of snippets of text written by people in Cole's life. This is nice because it contains much of the information that the other biographers use, but without bias or speculation.

You're the Top:The Cole Porter Story
  VHS Video Tape. Also on
DVD Disc 1998, Winstar Entertainment
A video biography, hosted by singer Bobby Short. It follows much of Cole's life and includes many snipets of performance. This is an entertaining watch for those who know little about him, but it only scratches the surface of his life, focusing on celebrating his music than examining or revealing the complexities in his real life. 56 minutes long. A good gift, but not a great biography.

Genius and Lust: The Creativity and Sexuality of Cole Porter and Noel Coward
  Morella and Mazzei, 1995, Carroll & Graf.
As the title implies, this book talks at length about how sexuality in general, and homosexuality in particular, influenced these composers.

Noel and Cole: The Sophisticates
  Citron, Stephen, 1993, Oxford Univ.
I have no info about this book. Do you

Travels with Cole Porter
  Howard, Jean, 1991, Harry N. Abrams
Pictures and letters from two years of Cole's life, 1955 and 1956. The letters are primarily those from Cole to the author, and the pictures include places Cole went (or pictures he took) which don't necessarily have Cole in them. This is not strictly a biography, but includes some biographical info. May be out of print.

Welk:Salute to Cole Porter
  Lawrence Welk , VHS Video Tape. 1998
I have no info about this video. Do you?  

Cole Porter : 20th Century Composer of Popular Songs
  Paul Salsini, 1972 ,Story House
I have no info about this book. Do you

Cole Porter
  1989, Hal Leonard
I have no info about this book. Do you?

Cole Porter Gift Books

You're the Top : A Love Song by Cole Porter
   Katrin Thomas, Pamela Prince, Jane Handel,1972, Simon and Schuster
A small gift book with words from the song You're The Top, with photos of New York City. I've seen it, and do not recommend it either for collectors or as a gift.

Out of Print, But In Many Libraries

Cole
  Gill, Brendan, 1971, Hot, Rinehart, and Winston
A thorough layout of pictures from his life interspersed with lyrics from all his songs, including the old ones from high school and college.

The Life that Late He Led -- A Biography of Cole Porter
  Eels, George, 1967, G. P. Putnam's Sons
One Cole Wide Web visitor says, "Good book, illustrated, Good list of works, shows and casts.".

The Cole Porter Story
Hubler, Richard G., 1965, World Publishing