Nat King Cole

Johnny Mathis once said “Nat King Cole was the God of popular music in our house”...


… Cole’s baritone voice has variously been described as ‘liquid’, ‘soothing’, ‘honeyed’ and critics often refer to the fact that he had perfect pitch. During his career he sold something around fifty million records and over the near sixty years since his death, that figure will only have increased dramatically.

This 2xCD package starts with two of Nat King Cole’s LPs from 1960 and 1961, both containing songs from writers such as Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Mercer and Edward Heyman.  The first, Tell Me All About Yourself has Nat backed by a swinging band on songs such as Until The Real Thing Comes Along, Crazy She Calls Me and the title track, to mention just three of the twelve superb performances contained therein. On The Touch Of Your Lips the big band gives way to string arrangements. Not So Long Ago, Sunday, Monday Or Always and I Remember You exude class from beginning to end.

Proof of Cole’s versatility comes with the LP Ramblin’ Rose on which the singer gives new life to country songs like Wolverton Mountain, You’re Cheatin’ Heart, He’ll Have To Go and the title track which was a hit single in 1962. Even the staunchest fan of country music would fail to be impressed with the way Nat handles these songs.

It’s not a case of leaving the best till last by any means, but LP number four Nat King Cole Sings / George Shearing Plays contains the sublime Let There Be Love (also a 1962 hit). Here, Nat is backed by a small combo led by Shearing on a selection of songs that have romance imprinted on all of them.

Two and a half hours of absolute delight.


Austin Powell has spent his entire working life in the music business. From being an agent and manager of ‘beat groups’ in the sixties to working for major record companies in the seventies and eighties, he has also held management positions at radio stations in England, Wales and on the Isle Of Man. He continues to act as a consultant to several record companies and artists and presents a weekly 'oldies' show on Monday evenings on 101.8 WCR FM in Wolverhampton.


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