My new boyfriend gave me a CD of his to listen to.
I grudgingly did and am completely transfixed. This man's voice is unreal. Absolutely stunning.
Thank you for this bulletin.
I only have his Unforgettable album, after having his daughter's album covering his. She was more upbeat / jazzy tempo'd, but I love how well Nat (father) enunciated. If only modern-day singers could enunciate, I'd be happy.
"Mona Lisa" is beyond a doubt, his best recorded song.
"Walking My Baby Back Home" is another great one. But " Mona Lisa" is my fave. John Legend has a bit of Nat in his voice, but no one els like him. I believe Sinatra said Nat was his favorite male singer, Ella, female.
He's wonderful. Christmas Song is my favorite xmas song, Unforgettable is just that. Such a gorgeous, syrupy voice. And L is for Love is such a happy cheery song...
..doesn't hurt that I remember Kurt Browning skating to it every time I hear it too!
Good, slow romantic song- " The Very Thought Of You "
Nature Boy is beautiful and haunting and a bit gay.
Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer...
I've just ordered the Nat and George Shearing album, after seeing this - I had it on vinyl but not on cd which had 3 extra tracks, cant wait to get it on my ipod. Its an essential album like Frank's Songs for Swinging Lovers. Nat's has a lot of melancholy songs on it suitable for every mood, and it swings too.
I remember seeing him in Cat Ballou, mid 60s Jane Fonda flick - he must have died shortly afterwards, he was only in his 40s I think, another victim of smoking ? (he was 45 actually).
I fucked his son
I agree R12, the Nat King Cole/Shearing album is sublime.
RE 14 Was that information necessary ? It was such a nice, and gentle thread.
He sings with a great depth of feeling. Much less flash than Sinatra, though they shared arrangers.
Incredible output in terms of quantity and quality. Clooney said he could make ANY song sound good--she was right.
Also a pioneer in crossover: he did country, multi-lingual records, etc.
Some of his non-May, non-Riddle arrangements have too much strings and angel chorus, but he really did leave behind some amazing work, with intimate ballads and up tunes.
Plus, as noted, a wonder at the piano.
Where are all the episodes of his TV show in a box set? The Bear Family Capitol CD boxes are a treasure.
Sinatra is always called the greatest male singer of his time. I have always thought it was NKC. He died young, and of course he was black, so... but his voice and his musicianship were unmatched. He started out as a jazz pianist.
Autumn Leaves. When you are depressed it knows just what to do.
That is all.
Nat "King" Cole has been dead for around fifty years. You people are fucking old!
R21, Nat Cole was a jazz pianist FIRST. Ever hear of the Nat King Cole trio? They had the first #1 album (78) when they started charting albums in the 1940s.
"Also a pioneer in crossover: he did country, multi-lingual records, etc"
Um, I love Cole, but his attempts at country and Spanish are embarrassingly bad.
I love Rambling Rose, embarrassing or not.
My great grandmother liked Nat King Cole, and then she died.
[quote]Nat "King" Cole has been dead for around fifty years. You people are fucking old!
The amazing thin about recordings is that they let you hear things you might not have been around for. Even someone like you could by he hang of them, with enough practice!
"Even someone like you could by he hang of them, with enough practice!"
Well I guess you got me there.
another ditto on the piano playing. They were playing some of his piano work on NPR recently and I was blown away.
RE 24 Do you think 50 years from now, we'll be talking about how amazing Rhinna, Jay Z, Kesha, Britney, or Kanye's voice, and recordings are ? Ain't never gonna happen. This 'old' crop of singers are still popular because they were true artists - they created something lasting, and profound. To use a bad analogy, the reason we still appreciate great art works by Van Gogh, Picasso, Rembrandt, etc. is because they are magnificent, and beautiful - as opposed to the prints you can buy at any Ross, or Marshalls, by unknown artists, which are sloppy, and uninteresting. Those artists will all be forgotten......along with the aformentioned Kanye, etc.
R31 is right, the classic singers are timeless.
I like NKC, but I like the (IMO) underappreciated Johnny Hartman better
OP, agree with you.
NKC was truly, truly great.
Nat King Cole and Peggy Lee. They don't get any better than that.
Ditto R33 -- Johnny Hartman is wonderful and almost unknown to most people
I didn't know about Hartman until I heard him in The Bridges of Madison County soundtrack. His version of Lush Life with Coltrane is great.
Wow. I was going to invoke Johnny Hartman when somebody mentioned something about great, under appreciated vocalists, but I held back, so as not to divert the thread. I've been a JH fan for over thirty years and it does my heart good to see others feel the same.
Back on Nat, for those who are interested, he has a brother Freddie who is still alive and performing. He has a similar sound, but a unique presence--he's no "tribute" performer, he does his own thing. I've seen him live, and I highly recommend it. These great old cats won't be around much longer...
I think Nat King Cole's Stardust may be the best song ever recorded.
Oh yeah, forgot about Stardust. Love his version. Saw a Bette Davis documentary a while back, and they said it was Davis' favorite song. It played over the end credits.
I loved it when black vocalists had the option of singing with soul or not. A couple more of my favorites are Gene McDaniels and Danny Williams. I remember dropping acid to Cole's 'Ramblin' Rose' and 'Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer' while the other kids were doping to surf music.
I remember Nat sang Stardust at Kennedy's inauguration and you could hear a pin drop. It was magical.
I love old songs. They don't sing like this anymore.
Stardust - my favorite. I also like A Blossom Fell.
His son, Kelly, had a huge dick.
It's a shame that a lot of people only know Natalie Cole through the Unforgettable album.
Here first four albums and especially her live album (Natalie Live!) are spectacular and show incredible soulful singing chops. There was real talk that she would be the next Queen of Soul after Aretha, and those albums show why. But, then the drugs and time away, and though she had some good music when she came back it was nothing like the early years.
You've heard this, haven't you? His estate had a hand in it.
Is Donna Summer dead? Can someone confirm this and make a thread on it?
Nat King Cole was part of my youth, and no R24 I'm not THAT old but my parents were and I grew up on his music. Sundays were reserved for classical music and opera but the rest of the time it was people like Nat, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Diana Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, the Platters (yeah R47) and The Inkspots (who are still my go-to music for a long relaxing bath).
There was no Top of the Pops or Top 30 in my house till I got enough saved up doing weekend jobs to buy my own little transistor radio (remember those!) for my room. In the end though - and while I do like some of the more "modern" music - I always go back to the "oldies" because the arrangements and orchestrations are just so beautiful and those people had great voices and could actually sing (no auto-tune there).
My favorite Nat King Cole song (well my all time favorite song - I have hundreds of different versions of this) : Smile
Nat Cole hated, HATED HATED HATED Rock & Roll's guts!
Natalie told the story on a 1970s Mike Douglas Show (when asked) that Nat hated The Beatles, but since they were on the same record label, he brought home free Beatles albums for her.
Later, when asked what her father would think about being inducted into the Rock N Roll hall of Fame, Natalie said he'd be turning in his grave.
And that's not a bad thing
Nat King Cole, Rosemary Clooney, Sam Cooke. Easily THE most recognizable voices ever. I remember watching him on TV back in the. He always had a lit cigarette in an ashtray on the piano. Back then everyone smoked.
[quote]It's a shame that a lot of people only know Natalie Cole through the Unforgettable album.
I agree. Her pop/R&B stuff from the 80's was actually really good fun pop fluff, like the "Dangerous" and "Everlasting" albums. I don't know why she doesn't perform songs from those albums instead of the boring easy listening shit she performs all the time.
Sinatra said Tony Bennett was his favorite vocalist.
I thought of Nat King Cole when the Karen Carpenter/Bette Midler thread was happening. So many people said Karen's voice was boring and had no range but the same could be said about Nat's voice. I'm not hating I like them both. Just sayin.