nat king cole by raian khshan -
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nat king cole

  • Joined Jan 2020
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Nat King Cole is an American musician hailed as one of the best and most influential pianists and small-group leaders of the swing era. Cole attained his greatest commercial success, however, as a vocalist specializing in warm ballads and light swing.


Cole grew up in Chicago, where, by age 12, he sang and played organ in the church where his father was pastor. He formed his first jazz group, the Royal Dukes, five years later.


In 1937, after touring with a black musical revue, he began playing in jazz clubs in Los Angeles. There he formed the King Cole Trio (originally King Cole and His Swingsters), with guitarist Oscar Moore (later replaced by Irving Ashby) and bassist Wesley Prince (later replaced by Johnny Miller). The trio specialized in swing music with a delicate touch in that they did not employ a drummer; also unique were the voicings of piano and guitar, often justaposed to sound like a single instrument. An influence on jazz pianists such as Oscer Peterson, Cole was known for a compact, syncopated piano style with clean, spare, melodic phrases.


During the late 1930s and early ’40s the trio made several instrumental recordings, as well as others that featured their harmonizing vocals. They found their greatest success, however, when Cole began doubling as a solo singer. Their first chart success, “Straighten Up and Fly Right” (1943), was followed by hits such as “Sweet Lorraine,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons,” and “Route 66.” Eventually, Cole’s piano playing took a backseat to his singing career.


Straighten Up And Fly Right” was based on a folk tale Cole’s father, Edward, would sometimes tell at sermons.

The song was a No.1 hit and has remained popular.



Route 66” composed by Julie London’s husband Bobby Troup about a journey from Chicago to Los Angeles, is one of the iconic American road songs. Also one of the best Nat King Cole songs, this hit version from 1946 shows off Cole’s prodigious skills as a pianist.




Deek Watson, founding member of the vocal group The Ink Spots, co-wrote the timeless classic ‘(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons’ in 1945. Sixteen years later, Cole put his own stamp on the song with a version for his album The Nat King Cole Story, which was nominated for the Grammy award for Album Of The Year. His sweet delivery influenced a generation of singers. “He just hypnotised me. Nat King Cole’s singing was like medicine to me,” said Aaron Neville. “Nat was everybody’s favourite singer – from Ray Charles to Sam Cooke to Marvin Gaye  – all of them loved him. Everybody wanted to do some Nat King Cole.”



Cole has been Noted for his warm tone and flawless phrasing, Cole was regarded among the top male vocalists, although jazz critics tended to regret his near-abandonment of the piano. He first recorded with a full orchestra (the trio serving as rhythm section) in 1946 for “The Christmes Song ” , a holiday standard and one of Cole’s biggest-selling recordings. By the 1950s, he worked almost exclusively as a singer, with such notable arrangers as Nelson Riddle and Billy May providing lush orchestral accompaniment. “Nature Boy,” “Mona Lisa,” “Too Young,” “A Blossom Fell,” and “Unforgettable” were among his major hits of the period. He occasionally revisited his jazz roots, as on the outstanding album After Midnight (1956), which proved that Cole’s piano skills had not diminished.


This song was one of the best songs for cole.thiss hit version is also a part of modern christmas .



Nature boy” Cole loved this song which was a shot to No.1 on the charts and stayed there for eight weeks.

“Nature Boy” was a tricky song to tackle and Cole showed all his technical ability by delivering a commanding version in his silky, baritone voice. The orchestra was conducted by Frank De Vol, who was the in-house arranger for Capitol Records, and his use of strings and flute bring out the poignant lyrics, including the memorable lines “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn/Is just to love and be loved in return”.



Mona Lisa” is one of the great love songs of the 20th Century, which more than earns it a place among the best Nat King Cole songs. It was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the movie Captain Carey, USA and won an Oscar for Best Original Song.




Cole had greater success with concert performances during the late 1950s and early ’60s and twice toured with his own vaudeville-style reviews, The Merry World of Nat King Cole (1961) and Sights and Sounds (1963). His hits of the early ’60s—“Ramblin’ Rose,” “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer,” and “L-O-V-E”—indicate that he was moving even farther away from his jazz roots and concentrating almost exclusively on mainstream pop. Adapting his style, however, was one factor that kept Cole popular up to his early death from lung cancer in 1965.


one of my favorate song for Cole is “L-O-V-E”.This modern love classic was written by Milt Gabler, uncle of the comedian Billy Crystal. As well as a gorgeous take in English, the singer cut Japanese, Spanish and French versions, cementing it as one of the best Nat King Cole songs of all time. Cole placed great store in precision in music and his singing is was exact as an atomic clock. The trumpet on the song is courtesy of Bobby Bryant, a jazz maestro who recorded with Oliver Nelson, Lalo Schifrin and Horace Silver Nat King Cole recorded the song in 1964, at a time when he had been diagnosed with lung cancer – a disease from which he died a year later, aged just 45.



After his death, Cole continued to appeal to the two almost mutually exclusive audiences that had appreciated him during his life. Jazz fans continued to treasure his recordings of the 1930s and 1940s and to dismiss the non-jazz recordings he had made later. (In 1994, German discographer Klaus Teubig compiled Straighten Up and Fly Right: A Chronology and Discography of Nat “King” Cole, which pointedly cut off in the early ’50s.) Pop fans clamored for reissues of Cole’s 1950s and ’60s music, awarding gold record status to compilations that Capitol continued to assemble, without much worrying about the singer’s talent as a piano player. (And, as his recordings fell into the public domain in Europe, where there is a 50-year copyright limit, a spate of low-quality reissues assumed flood levels.) But the ongoing debate was only testament to Cole’s ongoing attraction for music lovers, which, in the decades following his untimely end, showed no signs of abating.


In 1991, he sprang back to life through film and audio wizardry, to sing a chart-topping duet with his daughter, Natalie (who died in 2015) … proof that while Nat King Cole is long gone, his voice will forever remain unforgettable.p>

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