Page last updated at 10:39 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 11:39 UK

Cole Porter song brought to life

Cole Porter
Cole Porter's classics include Night And Day and I've Got You Under My Skin

A previously unrecorded song written by the legendary composer Cole Porter has been brought to life after a musician found it in a second-hand bookshop.

Michael L Roberts, originally from Merthyr Tydfil, paid £7 for The Unpublished Cole Porter while on a shopping trip in Brecon, Powys.

He was so taken with one of the songs in the book, I Know It's Not Meant for Me, that he decided to perform it.

It will have its premiere on BBC Radio 2 next Sunday at 2100 BST.

Porter was responsible for a number of classic songs from the first half of the last century.

They included Night And Day, I Get a Kick Out Of You, Well, Did You Evah and I've Got You Under My Skin.

Born Peru, Indiana, US, 1891
Learnt piano from the age of six and composed his first song for his mother, aged 10
Produced musicals at Yale, but gave up law studies and had a Broadway show before moving to Paris during World War I
Cole, who was gay, married divorcee Linda Thomas in 1919; they were together for 35 years
Porter wrote songs and musicals for Broadway and Hollywood throughout the 1920s, 30s and 40s, including for the likes of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly.
Biopic about his life, Night And Day, starring Cary Grant released in 1945
Died in 1964. His songs have been recorded by jazz singers, Frank Sinatra and also a 1990 tribute album, featuring the likes of U2, Annie Lennox and David Byrne

But many of his compositions were left on the cutting room floor after being dropped from various musicals and films.

I Know It's Not Meant For Me had been written for a 1937 movie, Rosalie, but was dropped during production and has only appeared as an out-take from the film on a CD before.

The song has never been recorded until now and Mr Roberts re-arranged and re-harmonised the printed version after he found it in Robert Kimball's book, The Unpublished Cole Porter.

Jazz musician Mr Roberts described how he felt when he discovered the book: "It is kind of like, for a jazz singer, finding the Dead Sea Scrolls or the Holy Grail.

"In amongst all the usual Robbie Williams biographies and various things I spotted this book on the shelf.

"I brought it back and one of the great pleasures and responsibilities I have in my capacity as a jazz singer is to find rare hidden gems of songs, personalise them, embrace their meaning in the context of my own life and ultimately perform them to the audiences that make it out to the gigs."

Mr Roberts, who now lives in London, said the song had meant to be performed by one of Rosalie's stars Ray Bolger, who went on to play the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz.

He said the lyric and the musical essence caught his attention.

He added: "It is beautiful, sublime. Basically it was originally arranged as a song and dance number, a sort of slow song and dance number."

The song will have its premiere on the Russell Davies show on BBC Radio 2 on 23 August at 2100 BST.

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