Nat King Cole

Nat King Cole

Jazz pianist and vocalist extradanaire.

Founded

March 17, 1917 in Montgomery, Alabama

Full Name

Nathaniel Adams Coles

Date of Birth

March 17, 1917 in Montgomery, Alabama

Still Alive

Date of Death

February 15, 1965 in Santa Monica, California

Influenced By

Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum

Later Influenced

Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, Ahmad Jamal, Johnny Mathis

Nat King Cole in New York City circa June 1947.
Nat King Cole in New York City circa June 1947.

About The artist

"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

Did you know...

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.

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Genres from this era

Jazz

Jazz

Born in New Orleans with roots in ragtime and the blues.

Swing

Swing

The dominant form of American dance music for over a decade.

Country & Folk

Country & Folk

Black musical tradition is a part of its core.

Gospel

Gospel

The progeny of spirituals and cousin to the blues.