Cole Porter: four standards from the musical Anything Goes, 1934


Anything Goes ensemble, undated, possibly from the original 1934-1935 production

Selected Cole Porter songs from the 1934 Broadway musical Anything Goes. Included are the standards:

  • I Get a Kick Out of You
  • Anything Goes
  • You’re the Top
  • All Through the Night

Credits and production information from Wikipedia:

anything-goes-34-playbill-alvin-theatreThe book was a collaborative effort by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, revised by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse. The story concerns madcap antics aboard an ocean liner bound from New York to London. Billy Crocker is a stowaway in love with heiress Hope Harcourt, who is engaged to Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Nightclub singer Reno Sweeney and Public Enemy #13 Moonface Martin aid Billy in his quest to win Hope. The musical introduced such songs as “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top,” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”

Since its 1934 debut at the Neil Simon Theatre (at the time known as the Alvin) on Broadway, the musical has been revived several times in the United States and Britain and has been filmed twice. The musical has long been a popular choice for school and community productions.[1]

1934-Anything-Goes-Ethel-Merman-1The musical had a pre-Broadway tryout in Boston, before opening at the Alvin Theatre, New York, on November 21, 1934; it ran for 420 performances, becoming the fourth longest-running musical of the 1930s, despite the impact of the Great Depression on Broadway patrons’ disposable income. Directed by Howard Lindsay with choreography by Robert Alton and sets by Donald Oenslager, it starred Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney, William Gaxton as Billy Crocker and Victor Moore as Moonface Martin.

Charles B. Cochran, a British theatrical manager had bought the London performance rights during the show’s Boston run, and he produced it at the Palace Theatre; the show opened on June 14, 1935 and ran for 261 performances. The cast included Jeanne Aubert as Reno Sweeney (the name changed to Reno La Grange), Sydney Howard as Moonface Martin and Jack Whiting as Billy Crocker. P. G. Wodehouse was engaged to replace the specifically American references in the book and lyrics with references more appropriate to an English audience.

Anything Goes (1936) Bing Crosby, Ethel Merman, others-dm (02)-f8Ethel Merman, Anything Goes (1936)-dm (01)

Anything Goes (1936) Ethel Merman and Bing Crosby, promo-1-t35-f10-hx141

(above) Ethel Merman and Bing Crosby in  promotional photos for the 1936 Paramount film adaptation, Anything Goes

I Get a Kick Out of You

Jazzstandards notes that Porter had written I Get a Kick Out of You in 1931 for a show which was never produced, Stardust. According to biographer Charles Schwartz, after pulling the song out of the trunk for Ethel Merman to sing in Anything Goes, Porter tweaked some of the lines to allow Merman’s natural vocal abilities free rein.

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, gathered around piano

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, vocal: Ramona — recorded on 26 October 1934; issued on Victor 24769, c/w “You’re the Top,” recorded on the same date


Ethel Merman – in the 1936 musical film Anything Goes


Clifford Brown – Max Roach Quintet —  recorded at Capitol Studios, Los Angeles, CA on 5 August 1954 — Clifford Brown (tp), Harold Land (ts), Richie Powell (p), George Morrow (b). Max Roach (d)


Sinatra-62-and swingin brass

Frank Sinatra – recorded 10 April 1962, arrangement Neal Hefti —  LP: Sinatra And Swingin’ Brass


All Through the Night

See also the separate feature page: All Through the Night

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, vocal: Bob Lawrence — recorded on 26 October 1934; issued as Victor 24770-A, b/w “Anything Goes” (vocal: Ramona)


Bert Ambrose 5Sam Browne-1

Ambrose and his May Fair Hotel Orchestra, vocal: Sam Browne — 1934



Ella Fitzgerald — first track on the 1956 album Sings the Cole Porter Songbook


Johnny Mathis — from his 1957 LP Wonderful! Wonderful!, Columbia ‎ CL 1028


Paul Desmond – Jim Hall Quartet —  recorded on 16 September 1964 — According to Paul Desmond discographies at Jazz Discography Project and, this previously unreleased cut was released on a 1990 CD reissue, RCA Bluebird 2306-2-RB, of the 1966 Paul Desmond LP Easy Living

Paul Desmond – alto sax
Jim Hall – guitar
Eugene Wright – bass
Connie Kay – drums


Andy Williams — live on The Andy Williams Show, Season 4, Episode 2; airdate: 20 September 1965


Russell Malone — from the 1993 album Black Butterfly


Anything Goes

Cole Porter – vocal, accompanied by piano (date unknown)


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, vocal by Ramona — 1934

montage of film clips from the 1930s


Lew Stone and His Band, vocals by The Radio Three — 1935 (Video contains some nudity, mostly Ziegfeld girls photographed by Alfred Cheney Johnston.)


Frank Sinatra — orchestra arranged by Nelson Riddle, 16 Jan 1956


Patti Lupone and ensemble from the 1987 revival of Anything Goes — Tony Awards performance, 1988


Cole Porter with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks — evidently from the 2004 compilation album, by various artists, It’s De Lovely-The Authentic Cole Porter Collection; the vocal and piano tracks may be the same as those in the undated Cole Porter recording above


You’re the Top

In its article on the song, Wikipedia provides a list of over 60 people, places, and things referred to in the song. However, Porter wrote many more verses to the song than are typically performed or included in published lyrics.


lyric guide and key:

Cole Porter



(Above) In 1954, Ethel Merman reprised her role as Reno in a specially adapted television version of Anything Goes, co-starring Frank Sinatra.



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