Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Congratulations, Cole Porter

Would somebody explain to me how Eric Estrada got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before Cole Porter did? It seems that today that long overdue honor was bestowed upon the songwriter who brought us "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick Out of You" and myriad other songs that have become part of the Great American Songbook. Did everyone just assume he had a star already?

Whether or not you are a fan, Cole Porter's contribution to music, theatre and movies is huge. I don't really know what politics are involved in getting a star on the walk of fame. Maybe the stars have to pay for it. If so...could I get one? What would it cost?

The first time I laid eyes on my wife (she wasn't my wife yet...) , she was performing in "Red, Hot and Cole", a revue of Porter's music that sort of told his life story. The director was a friend, so I went to check out his show, but made the mistake of going alone. It was dinner theatre. I sat at a large table with a family who I did not know. Drinks were relatively inexpensive, and I took advantage of that. I think by the end of the show, the family I was seated with had become a little bit afraid of me. I didn't meet Polly that night. That came later.

Our daughter is named "Rosalie" after her great-great aunt Rosalie, who in turn is named after a Cole Porter song of the same name. The song comes from a film called (redundantly enough) "Rosalie" featuring Eleanor Powell and Nelson Eddy. Eleanor Powell plays Rosalie, a student at Vassar who also happens to be a princess from the European kingdom of Romanza. Never heard of Romanza? Neither had I, until I saw this priceless gem of a tract on foreign policy. Ray Bolger is fun (warming up for his role as scarecrow still two years away) as Nelson Eddy's best friend/wingman and his soon to be Wizard of Oz cast mate, Frank Morgan (the Wizard) hams it up as the King of Romanza.

Yes, it's as bad as you can imagine...but Eleanor Powell was one hell of a dancer, so there are some nice sequences...and it's a fun kind of bad. And hey...they can't ALL be winners. Just look at Cole Porter. Erik Estrada beat him to the Walk of Fame.


Chris said...

Because you asked, and I can't sleep: http://hollywoodchamber.net/icons/faq.asp

basest said...

ah...the internet...once again answers ALL my questions. At least Cole Porter gets the distinction of being the one posthumous award this year.

They aren't really clear on who has to pony up the $25,000...but I can't afford it...i guess I'll never get my star.