Delightful, De-Lovely

COMPOSER: COLE PORTER

ALBUM: FROM THIS MOMENT ON

LABEL: SMITHSONIAN COLLECTION OF RECORDINGS

THE BOTTOM LINE: He's the top.

PLAYBOY, IDLER, A SNOB'S SNOB, Cole Porter lived the dream life of the '30s, remote from the privations of the Depression. But as he and his rich friends cruised the beauty spots of the world, he was listening to the rhythms of their speech and of the bands they danced to, transforming their fads and crazes into often mordant social comment. And into 500 or so of the best American songs ever written -- ballads, laments, sophisticated melodies, impudent scatter, chatter, smatter...

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