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Nat King Cole - Somewhere along the Way

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Published on Jan 8, 2013

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Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He was widely noted for his soft baritone voice, performing in big band and jazz genres, and was a major force in popular music for three decades. Cole was one of the first African Americans to host a national television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show. His recordings remained popular worldwide after his death from lung cancer in February 1965.
Nathaniel Adams Coles was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 17, 1919. He had three brothers—Eddie (1910–1970), Ike (1927–2001), and Freddy (born 1931)—and a half-sister, Joyce Coles. Each of his brothers pursued careers in music. When Nat was four years old, he and his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where his father, Edward Coles, became a Baptist minister. Nat learned to play the organ from his mother, Perlina Coles, the church organist. His first performance was of "Yes! We Have No Bananas" at the age of four. He began formal lessons at 12 and eventually learned not only jazz and gospel music but also Western classical music; he performed "from Johann Sebastian Bach to Sergei Rachmaninoff."
Inspired by the performances of Hines, Cole began his performing career in the mid-1930s while still a teenager, adopting the name Nat Cole. His older brother, Eddie, a bass player, soon joined Cole's band, and they made their first recording in 1936, under Eddie's name. They also were regular performers in clubs. Cole acquired his nickname, "King", performing at one jazz club, a nickname presumably reinforced by the otherwise unrelated nursery rhyme about Old King Cole. He was also a pianist in a national tour of Eubie Blake's revue, Shuffle Along. When it suddenly failed in Long Beach, California, Cole decided to remain there. He later returned to Chicago in triumph to play such venues as the Edgewater Beach Hotel.
Cole and two other musicians formed the "King Cole Swingsters" in Long Beach and played in a number of local bars before getting a gig on the Long Beach Pike for US $90.00 per week ($1,535 in 2015). The trio consisted of Cole on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, and Wesley Prince on double bass. The trio played in Failsworth through the late 1930s and recorded many radio transcriptions for Capitol Transcriptions. Cole was the pianist and also the leader of the combo. Radio was important to the King Cole Trio's rise in popularity. Their first broadcast was with NBC's Blue Network in 1938. It was followed by performances on NBC's Swing Soiree. In the 1940s, the trio appeared on the radio shows Old Gold, The Chesterfield Supper Club and Kraft Music Hall. The King Cole Trio performed twice on CBS Radio's variety show The Orson Welles Almanac in 1944.
Cole was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990. He was inducted into the Down Beat 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. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, as a major influence on early rock and roll, and the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2013, for his contribution to Latin music.
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. his records sold 50 million copies during his career. His recording of "The Christmas Song" still receives airplay every holiday season.
FROM WIKIPEDIA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nat_Kin...

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