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Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American jazz pianist and vocalist. He recorded over one hundred songs that became hits on the pop charts. His trio was the model for small jazz ensembles that followed. Cole also acted in films and on television and performed on Broadway. He was the first black man to host an American television series.

Contents

1 Biography

1.1 Early life 1.2 Birth of the trio 1.3 Popularity as a vocalist

2 Personal life

2.1 Marriages and children 2.2 Experiences with racism 2.3 Politics

3 Illness and death 4 Posthumous releases 5 Legacy 6 Discography 7 Filmography 8 Partial television credits 9 See also 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links

Biography[edit] Early life[edit] Nathaniel Adams Coles was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 17, 1919.[1] He had three brothers: Eddie (1910–1970), Ike (1927–2001), and Freddy (b. 1931),[2] and a half-sister, Joyce Coles.[3] Each of the Cole brothers pursued careers in music.[3] When Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
was four years old[4], the family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where his father, Edward Coles, became a Baptist minister.[5] Cole learned to play the organ from his mother, Perlina Coles, the church organist.[6] His first performance was "Yes! We Have No Bananas" at the age of four.[7] He began formal lessons at 12,[8] learning jazz, gospel, and classical music on piano "from Johann Sebastian Bach to Sergei Rachmaninoff."[9] The Cole family moved to the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago,[10] where he attended Wendell Phillips Academy High School,[11] the school Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke
attended a few years later.[12] He participated in Walter Dyett's music program at DuSable High School.[13] He would sneak out of the house to visit clubs, sitting outside to hear Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines
Earl Hines
and Jimmie Noone.[14] Birth of the trio[edit]

Portrait of Nat King Cole, Paramount Theater, New York City, November 1946

When he was fifteen, Cole dropped out of high school to pursue a music career. After his brother Eddie, a bassist, came home from touring with Noble Sissle, they formed a sextet and recorded two singles for Decca in 1936 as Eddie Cole's Swingsters. They performed in a revival of the musical Shuffle Along. Nat Cole went on tour with the musical. In 1937, he married Nadine Robinson, who was a member of the cast. After the show ended in Los Angeles, Cole and Nadine settled there while he looked for work. He led his own big band, then found work playing piano in nightclubs. When a club owner asked him to form a band, he hired bassist Wesley Prince
Wesley Prince
and guitarist Oscar Moore. They called themselves the King Cole Swingsters after the nursery rhyme in which "Old King Cole was a merry old soul." They changed their name to the King Cole Trio before making radio transcriptions and recording for small labels.[15] Cole recorded "Sweet Lorraine" in 1940, and it became his first hit.[16] According to legend, his career as a vocalist started when a drunken bar patron demanded that he sing the song. Cole said that this fabricated story sounded good, so he didn't argue with it. In fact there was a customer one night who demanded that he sing, but because it was a song Cole didn't know, he sang "Sweet Lorraine" instead. As people heard Cole's vocal talent, they requested more vocal songs, and he obliged.[17] Popularity as a vocalist[edit] In 1941 the trio recorded "That Ain't Right" for Decca, followed the next year by "All for You" for Excelsior Records.[15] They also recorded "I'm Lost", a song written by Otis René, the owner of Excelsior.[18]

I started out to become a jazz pianist; in the meantime I started singing and I sang the way I felt and that's just the way it came out. — Nat King Cole, Voice of America interview[19][20]

During the late 1930s the trio recorded radio transcriptions for Capitol.[21] They performed on the radio programs Swing Soiree, Old Gold, The Chesterfield Supper Club, Kraft Music Hall, and The Orson Welles Almanac.[22][23] Cole appeared in the first Jazz
Jazz
at the Philharmonic concerts in 1944. He was credited on Mercury Records
Mercury Records
as "Shorty Nadine", a derivative of his wife's name, because he had been exclusive contract with Capitol Records[24] since signing with the label the year before. He recorded with Illinois
Illinois
Jacquet and Lester Young.[16]

King Cole Trio Time on NBC
NBC
with Cole on piano, Oscar Moore
Oscar Moore
on guitar, and Johnny Miller on double bass, 1947

In 1946 the trio paid to broadcast King Cole Trio Time, a fifteen-minute radio program. This was the first radio program to be sponsored by a black musician. Cole began recording and performing pop-oriented material in which he was often accompanied by a string orchestra. His stature as a popular star was cemented during this period by hits such as "All For You" (1943), "The Christmas Song" (1947),[25] "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66","(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" (1946), "There! I've Said It Again" (1947), "Nature Boy" (1948), "Frosty The Snowman", "Mona Lisa" (No. 1 song of 1950), "Orange Colored Sky" (1950), "Too Young" (No. 1 song of 1951),[26] On November 5, 1956, The Nat 'King' Cole Show debuted on NBC. The variety program was one of the first hosted by an African American,[27] which created controversy at the time.[28] Beginning as a 15-minute pops show on Monday night, the program was expanded to a half-hour in July 1957. Despite the efforts of NBC, as well as many of Cole's industry colleagues—many of whom, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Belafonte, Frankie Laine, Mel Tormé, Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
and the backing vocal group the Cheerleaders, worked for industry scale (or even for no pay)[28] in order to help the show save money—The Nat 'King' Cole Show failed due to lack of a national sponsor.[28] Companies such as Rheingold Beer
Rheingold Beer
assumed regional sponsorship of the show, but a national sponsor never appeared.[28] The last episode of The Nat King Cole Show
The Nat King Cole Show
aired December 17, 1957. Cole had survived for over a year, and it was he, not NBC, who ultimately decided to end the program.[29] Commenting on the lack of sponsorship his show received, Cole quipped shortly after its demise, "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark."[30][31] Throughout the 1950s, Cole continued to accumulate hits, selling in millions throughout the world with "Smile", "Pretend", "A Blossom Fell", and "If I May". His pop hits were collaborations with well-known arrangers and conductors of the day, including Nelson Riddle,[19] Gordon Jenkins, and Ralph Carmichael. Riddle arranged several of Cole's 1950s albums, including his first 10-inch long-play album, Nat King Cole Sings for Two in Love
Nat King Cole Sings for Two in Love
(1953). In 1955, his single "Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup" reached number 7 on the Billboard chart. Jenkins arranged, the album, Love Is the Thing, hitting number 1 on the charts in April 1957 and remaining for eight weeks, his only number 1 album. In 1959, he was awarded a Grammy at the 2nd Annual Grammy Awards, the category Best Performance By a "Top 40" Artist, for his recording of "Midnight Flyer".[32]

Capitol Records
Capitol Records
Building, known as "The House That Nat Built"

In 1958 Cole went to Havana, Cuba, to record Cole Español, an album sung entirely in Spanish. The album was so popular in Latin America, and also in the United States, that two others of the same variety followed: A Mis Amigos
A Mis Amigos
(sung in Spanish and Portuguese) in 1959 and More Cole Español in 1962. A Mis Amigos
A Mis Amigos
contains the Venezuelan hit "Ansiedad", whose lyrics Cole learned while performing in Caracas
Caracas
in 1958. He learned songs in languages other than English by rote. After the change in musical tastes during the late 1950s, Cole's ballad singing did not sell well with younger listeners, despite a successful stab at rock and roll with "Send for Me",[19] which peaked at number 6 on the Pop chart. Along with his contemporaries Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, Cole found that the pop singles chart had been almost entirely taken over by youth-oriented acts. In 1960, Cole's longtime collaborator Nelson Riddle
Nelson Riddle
left Capitol Records
Capitol Records
for Frank Sinatra's newly formed Reprise Records. Riddle and Cole recorded one final hit album, Wild Is Love, with lyrics by Ray Rasch and Dotty Wayne. Cole later retooled the concept album into an Off-Broadway show, I'm with You. Cole recorded some hit singles during the 1960s, including "Let There Be Love" with George Shearing in 1961, the country-flavored hit "Ramblin' Rose" in August 1962, "Dear Lonely Hearts", "That Sunday, That Summer" and "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer"[19] (his final top-ten hit, reaching number 6 on the Pop chart). He performed in many short films, sitcoms, and television shows and played W. C. Handy
W. C. Handy
in the film St. Louis Blues
Blues
(1958). He also appeared in The Nat King Cole Story, China Gate, and The Blue Gardenia
The Blue Gardenia
(1953). In January 1964, Cole made one of his final television appearances, on The Jack Benny Program. He was introduced as "the best friend a song ever had" and sang "When I Fall in Love". Cat Ballou
Cat Ballou
(1965), his final film, was released several months after his death. Cole's shift to traditional pop led some jazz critics and fans to accuse him of selling out, but he never abandoned his jazz roots; as late as 1956 he recorded an all-jazz album, After Midnight, and many of his albums after this are fundamentally jazz-based, being scored for big band without strings, although the arrangements focus primarily on the vocal rather than instrumental leads. Cole had one of his last major hits in 1963, two years before his death, with "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer", which reached number 6 on the Pop chart. "Unforgettable" was made famous again in 1991 by Cole's daughter Natalie when modern recording technology was used to reunite father and daughter in a duet. The duet version rose to the top of the pop charts, almost forty years after its original popularity.[33] Personal life[edit] Around the time Cole launched his singing career, he entered into Freemasonry. He was raised in January 1944 in the Thomas Waller Lodge No. 49 in California. The lodge was named after fellow Prince Hall mason and jazz musician Fats Waller.[34] Cole was "an avid baseball fan", particularly of Hank Aaron. In 1968, Nelson Riddle
Nelson Riddle
related an incident from some years earlier and told of music studio engineers, searching for a source of noise, finding Cole listening to a game on a transistor radio.[19] Marriages and children[edit]

Nat and his second wife, Maria, 1951

Cole met his first wife, Nadine Robinson, while they were on tour for the all-black Broadway musical Shuffle Along. He was only 17 when they married. She was the reason he landed in Los Angeles and formed the Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
trio.[35] This marriage ended in divorce in 1948. On March 28, 1948 (Easter Sunday), just six days after his divorce became final, Cole married the singer Maria Hawkins Ellington (she had sung with the Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington
band but was not related to Duke Ellington). The Coles were married in Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church
Abyssinian Baptist Church
by Adam Clayton Powell Jr. They had five children: Natalie (1950–2015), who had a successful career as a singer; an adopted daughter, Carole (1944–2009, the daughter of Maria's sister), who died of lung cancer at the age of 64; an adopted son, Nat Kelly Cole (1959–1995), who died of AIDS at the age of 36;[36] and twin daughters, Casey and Timolin (born September 26, 1961), whose birth was announced in the "Milestones" column of Time magazine on October 6, 1961 (along with the birth of Melissa Newman). Maria supported him during his final illness and stayed with him until his death. In an interview, she emphasized his musical legacy and the class he exhibited despite his imperfections.[37] Experiences with racism[edit] In August 1948, Cole purchased a house from Col. Harry Gantz, the former husband of the silent film actress Lois Weber, in the all-white Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Ku Klux Klan, which was active in Los Angeles in the 1950s, responded by placing a burning cross on his front lawn. Members of the property-owners association told Cole they did not want any "undesirables" moving into the neighborhood. Cole responded, "Neither do I. And if I see anybody undesirable coming in here, I'll be the first to complain."[38]

Bust of Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
in the Hotel Nacional de Cuba

In 1956 Cole was contracted to perform in Cuba. He wanted to stay at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba
Hotel Nacional de Cuba
in Havana but was refused because it operated a color bar. Cole honored his contract, and the concert at the Tropicana was a huge success. During the following year, he returned to Cuba for another concert, singing many songs in Spanish.[39] In 1956 Cole was assaulted on stage during a concert in Birmingham, Alabama, with the Ted Heath Band while singing the song "Little Girl". Having circulated photographs of Cole with white female fans bearing incendiary boldface captions reading "Cole and His White Women" and "Cole and Your Daughter"[40] three men belonging to the North Alabama Citizens Council assaulted Cole, apparently attempting to kidnap him. The three assailants ran down the aisles of the auditorium towards Cole. Local law enforcement quickly ended the invasion of the stage, but in the ensuing melée Cole was toppled from his piano bench and injured his back. He did not finish the concert and never again performed in the southern United States. A fourth member of the group was later arrested. All were tried and convicted.[41] After being attacked in Birmingham, Cole said, "I can't understand it ... I have not taken part in any protests. Nor have I joined an organization fighting segregation. Why should they attack me?" A native of Alabama, he seemed eager to assure southern whites[citation needed] that he accepted the customs and traditions of the region. Cole said he wanted to forget the incident and continued to play for segregated audiences in the south. He said he couldn't change the situation in a day. He contributed money to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and had sued northern hotels that had hired him but refused to serve him. Thurgood Marshall, the chief legal counsel of the NAACP, called him an Uncle Tom
Uncle Tom
and said he should perform with a banjo. Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP, wrote him a telegram that said, "You have not been a crusader or engaged in an effort to change the customs or laws of the South. That responsibility, newspapers quote you as saying, you leave to the other guys. That attack upon you clearly indicates that organized bigotry makes no distinction between those who do not actively challenge racial discrimination and those who do. This is a fight which none of us can escape. We invite you to join us in a crusade against racism." [42] The Chicago
Chicago
Defender said that Cole's performances for all-white audiences were an insult to his race. The New York Amsterdam News said that "thousands of Harlem
Harlem
blacks who have worshiped at the shrine of singer Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
turned their backs on him this week as the noted crooner turned his back on the NAACP and said that he will continue to play to Jim Crow audiences." To play "Uncle Nat's" discs, wrote a commentator in The American Negro, "would be supporting his 'traitor' ideas and narrow way of thinking". Deeply hurt by the criticism in the black press, Cole was chastened. Emphasizing his opposition to racial segregation "in any form", he agreed to join other entertainers in boycotting segregated venues. He paid $500 to become a lifetime member of the Detroit branch of the NAACP. Until his death in 1965, Cole was an active and visible participant in the civil rights movement, playing an important role in planning the March on Washington in 1963.[42][43][44] Politics[edit] Cole sang at the 1956 Republican National Convention
1956 Republican National Convention
in the Cow Palace, Daly City, California, to show support for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.[45] He sang "That's All There Is to That" and was "greeted with applause."[46] He was also present at the Democratic National Convention in 1960 to support Senator John F. Kennedy. He was among the dozens of entertainers recruited by Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
to perform at the Kennedy Inaugural gala in 1961. Cole consulted with President Kennedy and his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, on civil rights. Illness and death[edit] In September 1964, Cole began to lose weight and he experienced back pain. He was appearing in a touring musical revue, Sights and Sounds and commuting to Los Angeles to film music for Cat Ballou
Cat Ballou
when he became increasingly involved in an extramarital relationship with a 19-year-old Swedish dancer, Gunilla Hutton; Cole's cheating led Maria to contemplate divorce.[47] Cole collapsed with pain after performing at the Sands in Las Vegas. In December, he was working in San Francisco when he was finally persuaded by friends to seek medical help. A malignant tumor in an advanced state of growth on his left lung was observed on a chest X-ray. Cole, who had been a heavy cigarette smoker, had lung cancer and was expected to have only months to live.[48] Against his doctors' wishes, Cole carried on his work and made his final recordings December 1–3 in San Francisco, with an orchestra conducted by Ralph Carmichael. The music was released on the album L-O-V-E shortly before his death.[49] Cole entered St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica
Santa Monica
on December 7, and cobalt therapy was started on December 10. Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
performed in Cole's place at the grand opening of the new Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center
Los Angeles Music Center
on December 12.[50] Cole's condition gradually worsened, but he was released from the hospital over the New Year's period. At home Cole was able to see the hundreds of thousands of cards and letters that had been sent after news of his illness was made public. Cole returned to the hospital in early January. He also sent $5,000 (US$39,453 in 2017 dollars[51]) to Hutton, who later telephoned Maria and implored her to divorce him. Maria confronted her husband, and Cole finally broke off the relationship with Hutton.[52] Cole's illness reconciled him with his wife, and he vowed that if he recovered he would go on television to urge people to stop smoking. On January 25, Cole's entire left lung was surgically removed. His father died of heart problems on February 1.[53] Throughout Cole's illness his publicists promoted the idea that he would soon be well and working, despite the private knowledge of his terminal condition. Billboard magazine reported that " Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
has successfully come through a serious operation and ... the future looks bright for 'the master' to resume his career again."[54] On Valentine's Day, Cole and his wife briefly left St. John's to drive by the sea. He died at the hospital early in the morning of February 15, 1965, aged 45.[55]

Cole's vault at Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Cole's funeral was held on February 18 at St. James Episcopal Church on Wilshire Boulevard
Wilshire Boulevard
in Los Angeles; 400 people were present, and thousands gathered outside the church. Hundreds of members of the public had filed past the coffin the day before.[56] Notable honorary pallbearers included Robert F. Kennedy, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mathis, George Burns, Danny Thomas, Jimmy Durante, Alan Livingston, Frankie Laine, Steve Allen, and Pat Brown (the governor of California). The eulogy was delivered by Jack Benny, who said that "Nat Cole was a man who gave so much and still had so much to give. He gave it in song, in friendship to his fellow man, devotion to his family. He was a star, a tremendous success as an entertainer, an institution. But he was an even greater success as a man, as a husband, as a father, as a friend."[57] Cole's remains were interred in Freedom Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in Glendale, California.[58] Posthumous releases[edit] Cole's last album, L-O-V-E, was recorded in early December 1964—just a few days before he entered the hospital for cancer treatment—and was released just before he died. It peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Albums chart in the spring of 1965. A Best Of album was certified a gold record in 1968. His 1957 recording of "When I Fall in Love" reached number 4 in the UK charts in 1987. In 1983, an archivist for EMI Electrola
Electrola
Records, a subsidiary of EMI Records (Capitol's parent company) in Germany, discovered some unreleased recordings by Cole, including one in Japanese and another in Spanish ("Tu Eres Tan Amable"). Capitol released them later that year as the LP Unreleased. In 1991, Mosaic Records
Mosaic Records
released The Complete Capitol Records Recordings of the Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Trio, a compilation of 349 songs available as an 18-CD or a 27-LP set. In 2008 it was re-released in digital-download format through services like iTunes and Amazon Music. Also in 1991, Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole
recorded a new vocal track that was mixed with her father's 1961 stereo re-recording of his 1951 hit "Unforgettable" for a tribute album of the same title. The song and album won seven Grammy awards in 1992 for Best Album and Best Song. Legacy[edit] Cole was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Alabama Music Hall of Fame
and the Alabama Jazz
Jazz
Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. He was inducted into the Down Beat
Down Beat
Jazz
Jazz
Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2007. A United States postage stamp featuring Cole's likeness was issued in 1994.[4] He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
in 2000, as a major influence on early rock and roll,[4] and the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, for his contribution to Latin music.[59] Cole's success at Capitol Records, for which he recorded more than 150 singles that reached the Billboard Pop, R&B, and Country charts, has yet to be matched by any Capitol artist.[60] His records sold 50 million copies during his career.[61] His recording of "The Christmas Song" still receives airplay every holiday season, even hitting the Billboard Top 40 in December 2017.[62] Discography[edit] Main article: Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
discography

The King Cole Trio (1944) The King Cole Trio, Volume 2 (1946) The King Cole Trio, Volume 3 (1947) The King Cole Trio, Volume 4 (1949) Nat King Cole at the Piano
Nat King Cole at the Piano
(1950) Harvest of Hits
Harvest of Hits
(1950) King Cole for Kids
King Cole for Kids
(1951) Penthouse Serenade (1952) Top Pops
Top Pops
(1952) Unforgettable (1954) Penthouse Serenade (1955) Nat King Cole Sings for Two in Love
Nat King Cole Sings for Two in Love
(1955) The Piano Style of Nat King Cole (1955) After Midnight (1957) Just One of Those Things (1957) Love Is the Thing (1957) Cole Español (1958) St. Louis Blues
Blues
(1958) The Very Thought of You (1958) To Whom It May Concern (1958) Welcome to the Club (1958) A Mis Amigos
A Mis Amigos
(1959) Tell Me All About Yourself
Tell Me All About Yourself
(1960) Every Time I Feel the Spirit
Every Time I Feel the Spirit
(1960) Wild Is Love (1960) The Magic of Christmas (1960) The Nat King Cole Story (1961) The Touch of Your Lips (1961) Nat King Cole Sings/George Shearing Plays
Nat King Cole Sings/George Shearing Plays
(1962) Ramblin' Rose (1962) Dear Lonely Hearts
Dear Lonely Hearts
(1962) More Cole Español (1962) Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer
Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer
(1963) Where Did Everyone Go?
Where Did Everyone Go?
(1963) Nat King Cole Sings My Fair Lady
Nat King Cole Sings My Fair Lady
(1964) Let's Face the Music!
Let's Face the Music!
(1964, recorded 1961) I Don't Want to Be Hurt Anymore
I Don't Want to Be Hurt Anymore
(1964) L-O-V-E (1965) Live at the Sands (album) (1966, recorded 1960)

Filmography[edit]

Film

Year Title Role Notes

1941 Citizen Kane Pianist in "El Rancho" Uncredited

1943 Pistol Packin' Mama As part of the King Cole Trio Uncredited

1943 Here Comes Elmer Himself

1944 Pin Up Girl Canteen pianist Uncredited

1944 Stars on Parade As part of the King Cole Trio

1944 Swing in the Saddle As part of the King Cole Trio Uncredited

1944 See My Lawyer Specialty act As part of the King Cole Trio

1944 Is You Is, or Is You Ain't My Baby? Himself Short subject

1945 Frim Fram Sauce Himself Short subject

1946 Breakfast in Hollywood As part of the King Cole Trio

1946 Errand Boy for Rhythm Himself Short subject

1946 Come to Baby Do Himself Short subject

1948 Killer Diller Himself As part of the King Cole Trio

1949 Make Believe Ballroom Himself As part of the King Cole Trio

1950 King Cole Trio & Benny Carter Orchestra Himself Short subject

1951 You Call It Madness Himself Short subject

1951 When I Fall in Love Himself Short subject

1951 The Trouble with Me Is You Himself Short subject

1951 Sweet Lorraine Himself Short subject

1951 Route 66 Himself Short subject

1951 Nature Boy Himself Short subject

1951 Mona Lisa Himself Short subject

1951 Home Himself Short subject

1951 For Sentimental Reasons Himself Short subject

1951 Calypso Blues Himself Short subject

1952 Nat "King" Cole and Joe Adams Orchestra Himself Short subject

1953 The Blue Gardenia Himself

1953 Small Town Girl Himself

1953 Nat "King" Cole and Russ Morgan and His Orchestra Himself Short subject

1955 Kiss Me Deadly Singer (voice)

1955 Rhythm and Blues
Blues
Revue Himself Documentary

1955 Rock 'n' Roll Revue Himself Short subject

1955 The Nat 'King' Cole Musical Story Himself Short subject

1955 Rhythm and Blues
Blues
Revue Himself Documentary

1956 The Scarlet Hour Nightclub vocalist

1956 Basin Street Revue Himself

1957 Istanbul Danny Rice

1957 China Gate Goldie

1958 St. Louis Blues W. C. Handy

1959 Night of the Quarter Moon Cy Robbin A.k.a. The Color of Her Skin

1959 Premier Khrushchev in the USA Himself Documentary

1960 Schlager-Raketen Sänger, Himself

1960 Academy Award Songs Himself TV movie

1960 Special
Special
Gala to Support Kennedy Campaign Himself TV movie

1961 Main Event Himself TV movie

1963 An Evening with Nat King Cole Himself TV movie

1964 Freedom Spectacular Himself TV movie

1965 Cat Ballou Shouter Released posthumously

1989 Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs Himself Documentary

Partial television credits[edit]

Year Title Role Notes

1950 The Ed Sullivan Show Himself 14 episodes

1951–1952 Texaco Star Theatre Himself 3 episodes

1952–1955 The Jackie Gleason Show Himself 2 episodes

1953 The Red Skelton Show Himself Episode #2.20

1953–1961 What's My Line? "Mystery guest" 2 episodes

1954–1955 The Colgate Comedy Hour Himself 4 episodes

1955 Ford Star Jubilee Himself 2 episodes

1956–1957 The Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Show Host 42 episodes

1957–1960 The Dinah Shore Chevy Show Himself 2 episodes

1958 The Patti Page Show Himself Episode #1.5

1959 The Perry Como
Perry Como
Show Himself Episode: January 17, 1959

1959 The George Gobel Show Himself Episode #5.10

1960 The Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Show Himself Episode #5.21

1960 This Is Your Life Himself Episode: "Nat King Cole"

1961–1964 The Garry Moore Show Himself 4 episodes

1962–1964 The Jack Paar Program Himself 4 episodes

1963 An Evening with Nat King Cole Himself BBC Television special

1963 The Danny Kaye Show Himself Episode #1.14

1964 The Jack Benny
Jack Benny
Program Nat Episode: "Nat King Cole, Guest"

See also[edit]

Book: Nat King Cole

Music portal Biography portal

List of African-American firsts List of Notable Freemasons The Ethel Waters Show - Ethel Waters was the first black American to host an eponymous television show.

References[edit]

^ [1] Archived February 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "NPR's Jazz
Jazz
Profiles: Freddy Cole". www.npr.org. Retrieved 2017-05-26.  ^ a b "How I got the jazz gene: seven artists reveal their roots". thestar.com. Retrieved 2017-05-26.  ^ a b c "Nat King Cole". Nat King Cole. Retrieved 2010-03-04. [dead link] ^ "The Pittsburgh Courier from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 13, 1965 · Page 2". Newspapers.com. Retrieved 2017-05-26.  ^ Hornsby Jr., Alton (23 August 2011). Black America: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 12–. ISBN 978-0-313-34112-0.  ^ "From the Archives: Nat 'King' Cole dies of cancer at 45". Los Angeles Times. 1965-02-16. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-05-26.  ^ SPIN Media (June 1990). SPIN. SPIN Media LLC. pp. 1–.  ^ Ruuth, Marianne (1992). Nat King Cole. Holloway House Publishing. pp. 32–. ISBN 978-0-87067-593-5.  ^ Brewer Jr., John M. (20 June 2007). Pittsburgh Jazz. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 37–. ISBN 978-1-4396-3464-6.  ^ "Phillips High School is cradle of history". tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 2017-05-26.  ^ "Tracing the Highs and Tragic End of Sam Cooke". NPR. Retrieved 2017-05-26.  ^ Bonner, Wilma F. (1 January 2011). The Sumner Story: Capturing Our History Preserving Our Legacy. Morgan James Publishing. pp. 162–. ISBN 978-1-60037-782-2.  ^ "Nat "King" Cole Is Born". History Channel. 2016-06-20. Retrieved 2017-05-26.  ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Nat King Cole". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 February 2018.  ^ a b Yanow, Scott (2000). Swing. San Francisco: Miller Freeman. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-87930-600-7.  ^ Cole, Maria (September 1971). Nat King Cole: An Intimate Biography. William Morrow. ISBN 978-0688021535.  ^ "Buck-Five Disk of Indies Seen Different Ways". Billboard. September 1, 1945. Retrieved 2012-02-24. ^ a b c d e Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 22 – Smack Dab in the Middle on Route 66: A Skinny Dip in the Easy Listening Mainstream. [Part 1]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.  ^ "Search University of North Texas Libraries". Library.unt.edu. Retrieved 2016-01-31.  ^ "Capitol Transcriptions ad" (PDF). Broadcasting. June 28, 1948. Retrieved 22 December 2014.  ^ "Radio Almanac". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved 2014-02-13.  ^ "Orson Welles Almanac — Part 1". Internet Archive. Retrieved 2014-02-13.  ^ Holmes, Roy; Windisch, Simon. " Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Biography". Highstreets.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-31.  ^ Cole recorded "The Christmas Song" four times — on June 14, 1946, with the Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Trio; on August 19, 1946, with an added string section; on August 24, 1953; and in 1961 for the double album The Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Story. The final version, recorded in stereo, is the one most often heard today. ^ "''Billboard'' website". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2010-03-04.  ^ Chilton, Karen (October 15, 2009). "Hazel Scott's Lifetime of High Notes". smithsonian.com. Smithsonian. Retrieved November 30, 2016. ...the first black performer to host her own nationally syndicated television show...  ^ a b c d Shulman, Arthur; Youman, Roger (1966). "Chapter 3: The Sounds of Music". How Sweet It Was. Television: A Pictorial Commentary. Bonanza Books, Crown Publishers.  (unpaginated). ^ Gourse, Leslie, (1991). Unforgettable: The Life and Mystique of Nat 'King' Cole. New York: St. Martin's Press. Quoting (p. 185) an interview with Cole in Hollywood, announcing that he was leaving television because of advertising agencies: "The network supported this show from the beginning. From Mr. Sarnoff on down, they tried to sell it to agencies. They could have dropped it after the first thirteen weeks. Shows that made more money than mine were dropped. They offered me a new time at 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays on a cooperative basis, but I decided not to take it. I feel played out." ^ [2] Archived November 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Study: Ad Agencies Exhibit 'Pervasive Racial Discrimination' News". AdAge.com. 2009-01-08. Retrieved 2016-01-31.  ^ "Grammy Awards 1959". Grammy.  ^ Teachout, Terry (1992). "Nat King Cole". The American Scholar. 26. Retrieved 1 October 2014.  ^ "Famous Masons". Pinal Lodge No. 30. Archived from the original on 2011-12-24.  ^ "Nat King Cole — Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-05-16.  ^ "TCM". TCM. Retrieved 2010-03-04.  ^ "Gale:Free Resources:Black History:Biographies: Nat King Cole". Gale. Retrieved 2012-04-20.  ^ Levinson, Peter J. (2005). September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle. Taylor Trade Publications. pp. 89–. ISBN 978-1-58979-163-3. Retrieved 2010-10-10.  ^ "Cuba Now". Cuba Now. 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2010-03-04. [dead link] ^ Burford, Mark (2012). " Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke
as Pop Album Artist". Journal of the American Musicological Society. doi:10.1525/jams.2012.65.1.113. Retrieved 2 February 2016.  ^ Eyewitness account published in the Birmingham News. Felts, Jim. Letter to the editor. December 15, 2007. ^ a b Altschuler, Glenn C. (2003). All Shook Up: How Rock 'n' Roll Changed America. Oxford University Press. ^ James Gilbert, James (1986). A Cycle of Outrage: America's Reaction to the Juvenile Delinquent in the 1950s. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 9. ^ Sussman, Warren, with the assistance of Edward Griffin (1989). "Did Success Spoil the United States? Dual Representations in Postwar America". In May, Larry, ed. Recasting America: Culture and Politics in the Age of the Cold War. Chicago: University of Chicago
Chicago
Press. ISBN 0226511758. ^ "It's All Right to Still Like Ike: History: Once Painted as a 'Distanced' President, Dwight Eisenhower Now is Heralded for his Strong Sense of Service". Articles.latimes.com. 1990-10-16. Retrieved 2016-01-31.  ^ Official Report of the Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Republican National Convention, August 20–23, 1956, p. 327. ^ Epstein 1999, p. 338. ^ "Tobacco Victim Nat King Cole". Quitsmoking.about.com. Retrieved 2016-01-31.  ^ Epstein 1999, p. 342. ^ Epstein 1999, p. 347. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved January 2, 2018.  ^ Epstein 1999, p. 350. ^ Epstein 1999, p. 355. ^ " Blues
Blues
News". Billboard. 1965-02-06. p. 28. Retrieved 2015-09-17.  ^ Epstein 1999, p. 356. ^ Epstein 1999, p. 358. ^ Epstein 1999, p. 359. ^ Epstein 1999, p. 360. ^ " Special
Special
Awards – Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame". Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame. 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-23.  ^ "Documentary Profiles Nat 'King' Cole". ProQuest. 4 May 2006. Retrieved 15 February 2016.  ^ "Remembering The Legendary Nat King Cole". ProQuest. 23 February 2000. Retrieved 15 February 2016.  ^ "Holiday Airplay". Billboard. January 10, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

Epstein, Daniel Mark (1999). Nat King Cole. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. ISBN 0-374-21912-5.  Bill Dobbins and Richard Wang. "Cole, Nat 'King'." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 28 Sep. 2016. Pelote, Vincent. " Book
Book
Reviews: "Unforgettable: The Life and Mystique of Nat King Cole," by Leslie Gourse." Notes – Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, vol. 49, no. 3, 1993., pp. 1073–1074,

External links[edit]

Find more aboutNat King Coleat's sister projects

Media from Wikimedia Commons Quotations from Wikiquote

Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
at Encyclopædia Britannica Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
at Find a Grave Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
on IMDb Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
at AllMusic Nat King Cole discography at Discogs Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
at NPR.org The Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Society The Unforgettable Nat King Cole Biography at Tiscali Music Nat "King" Cole article in the Encyclopedia of Alabama "Nat King Cole". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
interviewed on the Pop Chronicles
Pop Chronicles
(1969)

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Nat King Cole

Studio albums

The King Cole Trio Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
at the Piano King Cole for Kids Penthouse Serenade Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Sings for Two in Love The Piano Style of Nat King Cole After Midnight Just One of Those Things Love Is the Thing Cole Español St. Louis Blues The Very Thought of You To Whom It May Concern Welcome to the Club A Mis Amigos Tell Me All About Yourself Every Time I Feel the Spirit Wild Is Love The Magic of Christmas The Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Story The Touch of Your Lips Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Sings/George Shearing Plays Ramblin' Rose Dear Lonely Hearts More Cole Español Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer Where Did Everyone Go? Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Sings My Fair Lady Let's Face the Music! I Don't Want to Be Hurt Anymore L-O-V-E

Compilation albums

Harvest of Hits Top Pops Unforgettable 10th Anniversary Album Ballads of the Day This Is Nat King Cole The Beautiful Ballads For Sentimental Reasons Love Songs

Tribute albums

All for You: A Dedication to the Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Trio Dear Mr. Cole Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole The Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Songbook P.S. Mr. Cole A Tribute to the Great Nat "King" Cole With Respect to Nat You're Lookin' at Me (A Collection of Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
Songs)

Songs

"Mona Lisa" "Night Lights" "To the Ends of the Earth" "Unforgettable" "The Christmas Song"

Related articles

Discography Maria Cole
Maria Cole
(wife) Carole Cole
Carole Cole
(daughter) Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole
(daughter) Eddie Cole (brother) Ike Cole (brother) Freddy Cole
Freddy Cole
(brother) Lionel Cole (nephew)

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Natalie Cole

Studio albums

Inseparable (1975) Natalie (1976) Unpredictable (1977) Thankful (1977) I Love You So
I Love You So
(1979) We're the Best of Friends (1979) Don't Look Back (1980) Happy Love (1981) Unforgettable – A Musical Tribute to Nat King Cole
Unforgettable – A Musical Tribute to Nat King Cole
(1983) I'm Ready (1983) Dangerous (1985) Everlasting (1987) Good to Be Back
Good to Be Back
(1989) Unforgettable... with Love (1991) Take a Look (1993) Holly & Ivy (1994) Stardust (1996) Snowfall on the Sahara
Snowfall on the Sahara
(1999) The Magic of Christmas (1999) Ask a Woman Who Knows (2002) Leavin' (2006) Still Unforgettable
Still Unforgettable
(2008) Caroling, Caroling: Christmas with Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole
(2008) Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole
en Español (2013)

Compilation albums

The Natalie Cole
Natalie Cole
Collection (1987)

Live albums

Natalie Live!
Natalie Live!
(1978)

Singles

"This Will Be" "Inseparable" "Sophisticated Lady (She's a Different Lady)" "I've Got Love on My Mind" "Our Love" "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds "What You Won't Do for Love" (with Peabo Bryson) "I Live for Your Love" "Pink Cadillac" "When I Fall in Love" "Miss You Like Crazy" "Starting Over Again" "Unforgettable" (with Nat King Cole) "A Smile Like Yours" "Day Dreaming"

Filmography

Cats Don't Dance
Cats Don't Dance
(1997) Freak City
Freak City
(1999) De-Lovely
De-Lovely
(2004) Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy
(2006) The Real Housewives of Miami
The Real Housewives of Miami
(2011) The Real Housewives of New York City
The Real Housewives of New York City
(2011)

Related articles

Discography Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole
(father) Maria Cole
Maria Cole
(mother) Carole Cole
Carole Cole
(sister) Eddie Cole (paternal uncle) Ike Cole (paternal uncle) Freddy Cole
Freddy Cole
(paternal uncle) Lionel Cole (paternal first cousin)

Book:Natalie Cole

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Billboard Year-End number one singles (1946–1959)

1946: "Prisoner of Love" – Perry Como 1947: "Near You" – Francis Craig 1948: "Twelfth Street Rag" – Pee Wee Hunt 1949: "Riders in the Sky" – Vaughn Monroe
Vaughn Monroe
Orchestra 1950: "Goodnight, Irene" – Gordon Jenkins and The Weavers 1951: "Too Young" – Nat King Cole 1952: "Blue Tango" – Leroy Anderson 1953: "The Song from Moulin Rouge" – Percy Faith 1954: "Little Things Mean a Lot" – Kitty Kallen 1955: "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" – Pérez Prado 1956: "Heartbreak Hotel" – Elvis Presley 1957: "All Shook Up" – Elvis Presley 1958: "Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu (Volare)" – Domenico Modugno 1959: "The Battle of New Orleans" – Johnny Horton

Complete list (1946–1959) (1960–1979) (1980–1999) (2000–2019)

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Class of 2000

Performers

Eric Clapton Earth, Wind & Fire (Philip Bailey, Larry Dunn, Johnny Graham, Ralph Johnson, Al McKay, Fred White, Maurice White, Verdine White, Andrew Woolfolk) The Lovin' Spoonful
The Lovin' Spoonful
(Steve Boone, Joe Butler, John Sebastian, Zal Yanovsky) The Moonglows
The Moonglows
(Prentiss Barnes, Harvey Fuqua, Peter Graves, Billy Johnson, Bobby Lester) Bonnie Raitt James Taylor

Early influences

Nat King Cole Billie Holiday

Non-performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Clive Davis

Sidemen

Hal Blaine King Curtis James Jamerson Scotty Moore Earl Palmer

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 34642861 LCCN: n84072857 ISNI: 0000 0001 1489 8972 GND: 11909908X SUDOC: 076127621 BNF: cb13892629p (data) BIBSYS: 1094613 MusicBrainz: fbe054ec-a143-4101-9e9e-64abc5ff5ac9 BNE: XX854430 SN

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