Porter, Cole. (1891–1964)
"103 Lyrics of Cole Porter" - Signed First Edition to Mike Connolly
New York: Random House. 1953. First.
First Edition of this collection of some of the greatest song lyrics ever composed, signed and inscribed in black ink on the front free endpage by the composer/lyricist to gay gossip columnist Mike Connolly: "For Mike Connolly,/ best wishes,/ Cole Porter". 8vo - 20.5 x 13.5 cm.; xxxii - 224 pp. Hardcover, lightly rubbed in a very good dust jacket with light edgewear. An interesting association copy.
Mike Connolly (1913 - 1966) was an influential columnist for The Hollywood Reporter from 1951 to 1966 and was described by Newsweek as "probably the most influential columnist inside the movie colony," the one writer "who gets the pick of trade items, the industry rumors, the policy and casting switches." Indeed, he was a witness to, and participant, in more than a decade of sometimes tumultuous Hollywood history, and he was privy to most of Hollywood's secrets during those years. Connolly was a closeted homosexual, whose orientation was not made public until 37 years after his death with the publication of “Mike Connolly and the Manly Art of Hollywood Gossip” (2003), a biography penned by Val Holley. To be mentioned in Connolly’s “Rambling Reporter” trade paper gossip column in The Hollywood Reporter delivered much-coveted status, and Connolly’s coterie of influential gay friends became frequent suppliers of items about themselves. Because of his cleverness, he was able to convey a great deal of gay information in his column to those who could read between the lines. Although Connolly’s gay friends loved seeing their own names in print, they were also forthcoming with details of gay Hollywood insider gossip. Thus Connolly’s friends, publicist Stanley Musgrove and agent Bob Raison, who were both close with Cole Porter, supplied Mike with tidbits from Porter’s weekly Sunday parties (Connolly himself worked on Sundays). Gore Vidal said of him that “Connolly was your typical drunk Irish Catholic queen when he was in his cups, but good company otherwise."