Today in History: Nat King Cole was born in 1917

Today in History: Nat King Cole was born in 1917

American jazz musician Nathaniel Adams Coles, known professionally as Nat King Cole, was born 100 years ago today. Cole became famous as a singer and jazz pianist. He was one of the first African Americans to host his own national television show, The Nat King Cole Show. He grew up in in Chicago where he was strongly influenced by the pianist Earl Hines. In Los Angeles, Cole formed his first jazz trio with Oscar Moore on guitar and Wesley Prince on bass. In 1946, Cole’s recording of Mel Torme’s “The Christmas Song” made him an immediate star. Songs like “Nature Boy” (1948), “Mona Lisa” (1950) or “Unforgettable” (1951) established him as a leading force in popular music throughout the 1940s and 1950s. His recordings remained popular worldwide after his death from lung cancer in February 1965.

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