The third open meeting of the season and also the “Ray Coggan Memorial Meeting” was called to order by Chairman Roger Bancroft who welcomed all attending and in particular the nine lady guests who it was particularly pleasing to see. Three apologies for absence were offered and members were reminded that John Taylor was looking for four or five members to give ten minute talks on Members Morning on April 8th . Mention was also made of a Spring Fayre at the Church Hall this coming Saturday at 10a.m. with homemade cakes being a highlight!!
The Speaker for today’s meeting was a returning favourite Mr Ken Humphreys who was to share the “Music of Cole Porter” with the assembled throng. Amongst the pantheon of great songwriters from that era such as Gershwin, Romberg and Berlin, Cole Porter stood out because of his privileged upbringing . Born in Peru, Indiana he came from a wealthy family and in 1916 he saw his first and unsuccessful production”See America First” open and close on Broadway in a two week period. In 1919 he married Linda Lee Thomas also from a very comfortable lifestyle and with luxury apartments in Paris, expensive rented accommodation in Vienna they enjoyed the good life. Throughout the late 1920’s and 1930’s Porter was memorably linked to many famous shows and some of the songs and standards continue to be enjoyed by appreciative audiences to the present day. Ken Humphreys then delighted us with a number of great songs from terrific shows performed by outstanding artistes such as “Lets Do It” from Paris; “Anything Goes” from Anything Goes; “It Was Just One Of Those Things” and “Begin The Beguine” from Jubilee with performers including Fred Astaire; Tony Bennett ; Ethel Merman and Frank Sinatra (“I Get A Kick Out Of You”). In 1937 Porter was seriously injured in a horse riding accident which left him an invalid for the rest of his life but he continued his songwriting career through the 1940’s and 50’s perhaps not as productively but still with some outstanding numbers in shows and films e.g. Kiss Me Kate and High Society. Cole Porter passed away aged 73 in 1964 but his memory and legacy lives on and will continue to do so whilst there is an appreciation for top quality and entertaining music and songs.
The thoroughly entertaining morning’s proceedings were much enjoyed by a larger than normal assembly and the Vote of Thanks was given by Ken Roberts on behalf of the 43 members and guests. He also paid his own tribute to Ray Coggan which was well received by all.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY