"An heir of Earl Hines, whom he studied closely as a child in Chicago, Cole was an influence on such followers as Oscar Peterson, and his trio, emerging in the dying days of the swing era, helped lead the way in small-band jazz. The rage felt by jazz fans as he moved primarily to pop singing is not unlike the anger folk music fans felt when Bob Dylan turned to rock in the mid-'60s."
William Ryhlmann, Allmusic.com
Nat King Cole was the first African American to host a network television program, The Nat King Cole Show, which debuted on NBC in 1956.
Pops was the first superstar of jazz music.
The father of jazz piano.
Born in New Orleans with roots in ragtime and the blues.
The dominant form of American dance music for over a decade.
Black musical tradition is a part of its core.
The progeny of spirituals and cousin to the blues.