cover image Red, Hot & Rich

Red, Hot & Rich

Sue Grafton, David Grafton. Scarborough House Publishers, $17.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8128-3112-2

Reminiscences by the late composer's family members and associates, as well as excerpts from reviews of his shows are the only vital parts of this book. Grafton's own commentsrepetitious and awkwardare less interesting although he covers Porter's life in detail. Born in Indiana in 1891 to an affluent family, the song writer and lyricist was still a student at Yale when he started on the career that made him internationally famous. It's particularly telling that Porter's innovative creations took time to catch on, his melodies and verses were so different from what critics and theater-goers were accustomed to. Grafton, a Chicago business consultant, also dwells on intimate aspects of Porter's life, like the marriage that lasted until his wife's deathin spite of his homosexuality, which the author describes perhaps too explicitly. Photos not seen by PW. (May 9)