Nat King Cole in pictures and photos, There are 14 pictures in this album

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Music singer, songwriter and jazz pianist Nat King Cole pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
Birth name: Nathaniel Adams Coles.
Born: April 17, 1919 Montgomery, Alabama, USA.
Died: February 15, 1965 (aged 45)(lung cancer).

Cole's first mainstream vocal hit was his 1943 recording of one of his compositions, Straighten Up and Fly Right, based on a black folk tale that his father had used as a theme for a sermon. Johnny Mercer invited him to record it for the fledgling Capitol Records label. It sold over 500,000 copies, and proved that folk-based material could appeal to a wide audience. Although Nat would never be considered a rocker, the song can be seen as anticipating the first rock and roll records. Indeed, Bo Diddley, who performed similar transformations of folk material, counted Cole as an influence.
Beginning in the late-1940s, Cole began recording and performing more pop-oriented material for mainstream audiences, often accompanied by a string orchestra. His stature as a popular icon was cemented during this period by hits such as The Christmas Song (Cole recorded the tune three times: in 1946, his first recording to include strings and the only one where he sings "reindeers," 1953, and 1961 -- the last version is the one most often played today), Nature Boy (1948), Mona Lisa (1950), Too Young (the #1 song in 1951), and his signature tune "Unforgettable" (1951). While this shift to pop music led some jazz critics and fans to accuse Cole of selling out, he never totally abandoned his jazz roots; as late as 1956, for instance, he recorded an all-jazz album, After Midnight. In 1991, Mosaic Records released The Complete Capitol Recordings of the Nat King Cole Trio, an 18 compact disc set, consisting of 349 songs. (This special compilation also was available as a 27 high quality LP record set as well.)
Throughout the 1950s Cole continued to rack up hit after hit, including Smile, Pretend, A Blossom Fell, If I May and many others. His pop hits were collaborations with well-known arrangers and conductors of the day, including Nelson Riddle, Gordon Jenkins, and Ralph Carmichael. Riddle arranged several of Cole's 1950s albums, including his first 10-inch long-play album, his 1953 Nat King Cole Sings For Two In Love. Jenkins arranged Love Is the Thing, #1 on the album charts in April 1957.
In 1958, Cole went to Havana, Cuba to record Cole Espaol, an album sung entirely in Spanish. The album was so popular in Latin America as well as in the USA, that two others in the same vein followed: A Mis Amigos (sung in Spanish and Portuguese) in 1959, and More Cole Espanol in 1962. A Mis Amigos contains the Venezuelan hit Ansiedad, whose lyrics Cole had learned while performing in Caracas in 1958. Cole learned songs in languages other than English by rote.
The change in musical tastes during the late-1950s meant that Cole's ballad singing did not sell well with younger listeners, despite a successful stab at rock n' roll with Send For Me (peaked at #6 pop). Along with his contemporaries Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra & Tony Bennett, Cole found that the pop singles chart had been almost entirely taken over by youth oriented acts. In 1960, Nat's longtime collaborator Nelson Riddle left Capitol Records for Frank Sinatra's newly formed Reprise Records label. Riddle and Cole recorded one final hit album Wild Is Love, based on lyrics by Ray Rasch and Dotty Wayne. Cole later retooled the concept album into an off-Broadway show, I'm With You.
Cole did manage to record some hit singles during the 1960s, including the country-flavored hit Ramblin' Rose in August of 1962, Dear Lonely Hearts, Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer, and That Sunday, That Summer.
His last album, L-O-V-E, was recorded in early December 1964 - just a few days before entering the hospital for lung cancer treatment and released just prior to his death; it peaked at #4 on the Billboard Albums chart in the spring of 1965. A Best Of album went gold in 1968. His 1957 recording of When I Fall In Love topped the UK charts in 1987.
Cole was the first African American to have his own radio program and television show. In both cases, the programs were ultimately cancelled because potential sponsors shied away from showcasing a black artist. Cole fought racism all his life and refused to perform in segregated venues. In 1956, he was assaulted on stage while singing the song Little Girl in Birmingham, Alabama by members of the White Citizens' Council who apparently were attempting to kidnap him. Cole completed the performance despite injuries, but never again performed in the South.
Cole performed in many short films, and played W. C. Handy in the film Saint Louis Blues (1958). He also appeared in The Nat King Cole Story, China Gate, and The Blue Gardenia (1953) (see photo above). Cat Ballou (1965), his final film, was released several months after his death.
Cole, a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer on February 15, 1965 while still at the height of his singing career.
In 1983, an archivist for Electrola Records, Capitol Records' subsidiary in the Netherlands, discovered some songs Cole had recorded but that had never been released, including one in Japanese and another in Spanish (Tu Eres Tan Amable). Capitol released them later that year as the LP Unreleased.
He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.
Nat's youngest brother Freddy Cole, and Nat's daughter, Natalie Cole are also singers. In the summer of 1991, Natalie and her father had an unexpected hit, when Natalie mixed her own voice with her father's 1961 rendition of Unforgettable, as part of her album paying tribute her father's music. The song and the album of the same name won seven Grammys awards in 1992.
Ray Evans, the lyrics writer of "Mona Lisa" died February 15, 2007, the 42nd anniversary of Cole's death.
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