1955, October 22 – NOEL COWARD SINGS TANGO “NINA”

Using words like “sex, “sluts” and plenty of  eyebrowed innuendo, Noel Coward gives us an incredibly racy number, the tango “Nina”, on a 1955 television program…”Nina”, written and composed by Coward is but one of hundreds of highly popular songs he composed…Noel Coward was one of the most interesting, creative, prolific, outlandish, provocative characters of the 20th century; he was also known for his kindness and generosity…interestingly, his trademark English diction and trilling of the “r” actually developed as a way of communicating with his mother who was deaf…besides songs, he wrote over 50 plays many of which continue to be part of theater repertoire today….in addition he published several volumes of poetry and short stories, one novel “Pomp and Circumstance” and a three-volume autobiography…he was also an accomplished actor and director…Coward had little formal education but he was a voracious reader…he attended dance academy and made his first appearance on stage at the age of eleven

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At the age of 20, he acted in the first play of his own composition, “I’ll Leave It To You”…one year later he produced his own play on Broadway, “The Young Idea”…three years later, he achieved his first major hit, “The Vortex” about a nymphomaniac socialite and her cocaine addicted son…it was extremely shocking for its day in its portrayal of upper class sexual promiscuity, drug use and hypocracy…he was born in Teddington, a suburb of London to a father who was a piano salesman and a mother who was the daughter of a navy captain…at 14 he became the protege and lover of painter Philip Streatfield who died  at the age of 37; Streatfield had also been the lover of Oscar Wilde…it was through Streatfield that Coward was able to become part of England’s influential upper class…during World War II he worked for the British secret service…”Cavalcade” a film based on one of his plays won the academy award for best picture in 1933….in 1969, shortly before his death he was knighted by the Queen of England…reportedly he practised non penetrative homosexuality…he fully enjoyed his extravagant life once saying, “I am determined to travel through life, first class”

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