Celebrate Nat “King” Cole: Our Five Favorite Facts

The Nat King Cole Centennial Celebration

News | Dec, 6th 2018

There’s so much to admire about an enduring icon like Nat “King” Cole: his perseverance, his prolific talent, his undeniable charm, and, of course, the catalog of music he left behind that redefined both popular song and jazz. Read on to learn some of our favorite facts about this “King” of jazz.

On December 14–15, crooner Sachal Vasandani will bring his charismatic showmanship to The Appel Room for Nat “King” Cole at 100. Join us for our Cole centennial celebration!

1.  Born in March 1919 to a preacher father and a piano-playing mother, Nathaniel Adams Coles knew at an early age that music would frame his life. At age 15, he quit school to pursue a career as a jazz pianist. 

2.  According to legend, Cole would sneak out of his parents' house and sit outside clubs to listen to performances by icons like Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, and Jimmie Noone.

3.  Music was a family affair for the Coles. Cole learned to play piano from his mother and made his recording debut in his brother’s sextet, Eddie Cole's Swingsters. 

4.  Cole came from humble beginnings but grew into an immense success. In 1942, he became one of the early artists signed to Capitol Records. Soon after, he made it to the top of Billboard’s inaugural best-selling albums chart.

5.  Songs like “Mona Lisa,” “Unforgettable,” and “When I Fall in Love” were just a few of Cole’s many charting singles, making him one of the most successful recording artists on Capitol Records's roster.

Want more Cole? Swing by for Nat “King” Cole at 100, December 14-15.

***Photo credit: Nat King Cole, by William P. Gottlieb***

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