Oregon Movies, A to Z

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Del Porter

October 24th, 2008 by Anne Richardson · No Comments · Oregon composer, Oregon musician, Oregon singer

I don’t know a thing about Del Porter, except that he was from Oregon and a member of The Foursome, the male singing group which appears in Born To Dance (1936).
According to this illustration, all four of The Foursome played the sweet potato (yes, I mean an instrument, not the vegetable.) Del Porter was a clarinetist, so for him that wouldn’t be much of a reach.
Here’s some information from a website by someone who knows alot about Del Porter:
Born 1902 Del Porter, singer/composer/bandleader, b. Newberg, OR, USA. d. Los Angeles, CA, USA
Del Porter was one-fourth of ‘The Foursome’, a vocal quartet which packed nightclubs, toured with Glenn Miller, and recorded with Bing Crosby and Dick Powell.
‘The Foursome appeared in two Broadway shows starring vocalist Ethel Merman – George and Ira Gershwin’s “Girl Crazy”, and Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes”, and in the Eleanor Powell movie “Born to Dance”.
Tthe drummer in the group that backed the Foursome was a young “Spike” Jones. Spike suggested that Porter start a band. The result: the ‘Feather Merchants’, a sextet patterned after the musical humor of Freddie Fisher’s Schnickelfritzers..
However, Spike had bigger things in mind, and soon, the Feather Merchants morphosed into “Spike Jones and The City Slickers”. Porter was the band’s clarinetist, composer, arranger and their lead vocalist.
In later years, Porter’s lifelong friend Raymond M. Johnson, who sang alongside him in the ‘Foursome’, told interviewers that “It was supposed to have been a partnership, but it didn’t turn out that way.” Near the end of his life, Porter said “I didn’t care. I didn’t want all the trouble of looking for jobs and all that sort of thing. I was too busy creating. I was a lousy salesman, as far as that goes.”
Oregon Movies, A to Z learned about Del Porter because he is mentioned by Mel Blanc in his autobiography. Blanc and Porter were buddies.
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