Cole Porter Joins the Club

In the case of Cole Porter, his first foray on Broadway, See America First (1916.06), was not successful.  We know that the publisher of the sheet music was G. Schirmer & Sons.  Porter did very little work between See America First in 1916 and Hitchy-Koo of 1919, out of which came the lovely Porter song, “An Old Fashioned Garden,” published by T.B. Harms.  It seems reasonable that Porter signed an exclusive agreement with Harms in 1919.  It also represents the first orchestration by Robert Russell Bennett at Harms.

From that point on, Harms is listed as publisher on all of Porter’s published music, including Greenwich Village Follies in 1924, Paris (combined score with music by E. Ray Goetz) in 1928 and Fifty Million Frenchmen in 1929.  

Very few of us know much about this 1929 show; however, it has a wonderful score.  Let’s listen to the overture from the 1991 recording by New World Records (restored score with the Orchestra of New England, led by Evans Haile, No. 80417).

We have a second selection from the recording.  “You Don’t Know Paree” is not a well known song, but Bobby Short did a very good recording of it. It is even better when heard with the original orchestration.