Unforgettable Nat King Cole

All posts tagged Unforgettable Nat King Cole

29 June 2018

Published June 27, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

UNFORGETTABLE

            When Nathaniel tickled the ivories, he mesmerized Chicago’s jazz club audiences. The talented sixteen-year-old played for hot dogs, soda pop and pure joy. In 1935, he and his band, the Rogues of Rhythm, challenged the great Earl Hines and his Orchestra to a musical duel—and won.

            Twenty-one years later, Capitol Records’ leading vocalist became the first African American to host his own television program. Performers from Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald clamored to donate their services. Despite rave reviews, white sponsors refused to back him.

            Fighting tears, Nat King Cole cancelled his show saying, “Madison Avenue’s afraid of the dark.”

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Buddy DeSylva, founder of Capitol Records, is quoted as having said, “If Nat Cole were white, he’d be bigger than Sinatra or Crosby.”

Here’s a clip from the ill-fated The Nat “King” Cole Show

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