Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole established himself as one of the most outstanding exponents of jazz. His distinctive voice, his special talent as a swing pianist and his versatile staging immortalized him and gave him a special place in the history of contemporary music.

Both in his experiences in groups and as a soloist, he left an artistic production that to this day serves as a reference for professional musicians and for those who wish to enjoy great classics. 

Nat King Cole's work crossed frontiers of time and space. He is recognized worldwide and it will be a long time before he is forgotten, since he sold more than 75 million records.


Nathaniel Adams Coles was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 17, 1919. His family environment helped him to develop his predilection for music, because when he was a child his family moved to Chicago, where his father was a church minister and his mother, Mrs. Perlina Adams, played the organ. It was she who gave him his first lessons, developing especially a taste for gospel, jazz and classical music. 

In addition, they lived in the Bronzeville neighborhood, where there were many jazz clubs that made him admire some exponents of the genre. In the thirties he took his first steps as an artist, adopting the name Nat Cole and forming his first local band with which he toured the nightclubs of Chicago. 

Later, in the late 1930s, in his quest for artistic growth, Nat Kelly Cole moved to Los Angeles. There he formed the popular "Nat King Cole Trio", but by then he only stood out as a great pianist. His great step and consolidation as a singer was achieved with the hit "Straighten Up and Fly Right", starting a new stage in his career. 

After the dissolution of the band, he began his solo career in 1948. 

Nat Cole also excelled in other areas: he was the first African-American to moderate a radio program and a television program. In addition, his fight against racism earned him several attacks from extremist groups and the racial prejudice of the time caused him some setbacks. Nat decided to stop playing in places where there was racial segregation. 


Listening to artists such as Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines inspired him to start his own career and marked the musical style of the early stages of his career as a jazzman. But in the 1950s he began to lean his production towards ballads, interpreted Latin songs and even released albums in Spanish and Portuguese, which allowed him to explore and access the Hispanic territory with great success. 

King Cole's style also influenced artists of the time and later. For example, the song "Straighten Up and Fly Right" is considered the starting point for early rock and roll productions. 


Among the most outstanding collaborations in Nat Cole's career is the one with Robert Wells and Mel Tormé, which resulted in the recording in 1946 of one of the most popular songs of the Nat King Cole Trio: "The Christmas Song", a Christmas classic.

In addition, we cannot overlook the posthumous father-daughter collaboration between Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, which was the result of mixing Nat's 1961 stereo recording of the hit "Unforgettable" into a new vocal track. This production and the album won seven Grammy Awards in 1992. It was a tribute as brilliant as it was moving. 


Nat King Cole's discography is extremely extensive. Throughout his career, he worked tirelessly to build a musical repertoire of the most varied, numerous and pleasurable. 

An interesting fact is that Capitol Records was in charge of all Nat King Cole's productions from the forties until the end of his career. Even when this production company became renowned in the 1950s, it was referred to as "the house that Nat built".

Among her most iconic records are:

1952 Penthouse Serenade​ 

1952 Top Pops 

1953 Sings For Two In Love

1954 Unforgettable

1955 Penthouse Serenade

1955 Nat King Cole Sings For Two In Love

1955 10th Anniversary Album

1955 The Piano Style of Nat King Cole

1956 Ballads of the Day

1957 After Midnight

1958 Cole Español 

1958 St. Louis Blues

1958 To Whom It May Concern

1959 A Mis Amigos

1960 Tell Me All About Yourself

1960 Wild Is Love

1960 The Magic of Christmas

1961 The Touch of Your Lips

1962 Nat King Cole Sings, George Shearing Plays

1962 Ramblin' Rose

1964 I Don't Want To Be Hurt Anymore

1965 L-O-V-E


"Nature Boy", "Sweet Lorraine", "Route 66", "Unforgettable", "Mona Lisa", "The Christmas Song", "Send for Me" and "Ramblin' Rose" are some of Nat King Cole's unforgettable songs. All of them marked a before and after in the career of this great artist, as they helped him gain fame around the world and, even today, manage to awaken the interest of music fans.

His last album, L-O-V-E, is also a musical reference because it has served as the soundtrack for several film productions and, in addition, was recorded in December 1964 during the artist's final stage. 


Nat Cole's work is unique. Although his life was cut short early, at the age of 45 due to lung cancer, his musical legacy is immeasurable thanks to a tireless, emotional and committed work that lasted until his last days. 

There are many people who are still moved by her voice that lasts through time, that touches and that can be appreciated in Jazz Images Records.

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