“Improving The Community One Project At A Time”
PO Box 117 - Alderson W Va. 24910
© Alderson Main Street 2014
Alderson's Bricktop & Cole Porter
Cole Porter was a famous composer of the 1920's to 50's. He wrote the music and lyrics for such musicals as
"Anything Goes" and "Kiss Me Kate". Songs included, "Night and Day", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "I've Got You
Under My Skin", and "Love for Sale". Many of these songs where song by singers like Frank Sinatra.
Cole Porter and his wife, Linda, lived in Paris most of the time. One evening in 1925, Cole showed up at Ada
"Bricktop" Smith's club. It wasn't until after he left that she found out who he was. Brick panicked because she
preformed one of his songs and he was very particular about how people sang his songs. But he returned the next
night and hired her to teach the Charleston at a party which included nobility.
That was the start of a lifelong friendship. Cole Porter was a shy man and Bricktop was anything but. They
respected each other and their differences. She travelled with Linda and Cole quite often. He loved buying her
gowns and furs.
Cole brought all his friends to Bricktop's clubs and he was the only person to have a private table. Even the Prince
of Wales didn't have one.
In 1932 Cole Ported wrote a song for Brick called "Miss Otis Regrets She's Unable to Lunch Today". A few days
before they had talked about a lynching that took place in the United States. She had said to Cole, "Well, that man
won't lunch tomorrow." So, he wrote the song based on that conversation. It was the only song he wrote for her. It
became a hit.
On August 24 on the Alderson Memorial Bridge, Susanna Robinson-Kenga of Lewisburg will perform "Miss Otis" and
other songs performed by Bricktop and singers of the era. The concert is 6:30-8pm. More info next week.
Source: Bricktop by Bricktop with James Haskins; Welcome Rain Pub. 1983
available at Alderson's Store. Also, see more about Bricktop in the History of Alderson