29 SEPTEMBER 1967, Page 32

Cocktail time

Sir: Heaven forbid that I should re-write Cole Porter, who once wired Frank Sinatra, quite rightly, asking Sinatra why he sang his songs if he didn't like the way they were written.

My extract from 'Down in the depths on the ninetieth floor' came from a Cole Porter selection edited by Fred Lounsberry and published by Random House in 1954. (Mr Lounsberry quotes 'While the crowds in the night clubs punish the parquet/and the bars are packed with couples call- ing for more' against Mr Driberg's 'crowd at El Morocco' and couples 'At the Twenty-One').

1 imagine that after the show Red, Hot and Blue, for which this number was written, closed in 1937, Mr Porter's publishers advised him that the two more general references would have a wider appeal. However, I am grateful to Mr Driberg who with his specialist knowledge of Cole Porter and New York bars has been able to put the record straight: