This year marks the 40th anniversary of Nat King Cole's death on February 15, 1965, at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California.
So-called the man with the velvet voice, during his career Cole recorded over 600 songs and is said to have sold more than 50 million albums and singles, making him one of the most successful performers in music history, and the first black face to be known across the whole of America.
Throughout his adult life, Cole was a heavy smoker who was rarely seen without a cigarette in his hand. And after an operation for stomach ulcers in 1953, he was advised to stop smoking but did not do so. Keeping up with a hectic schedule of recording and live appearances, he ignored signs of ill health; and in late 1964 he was diagnosed with a terminal case of lung cancer. He was only 45 years old and had been a life-long chain smoker.
This issue is a tribute to the great jazz pianist and pop singer with two CDs dedicated to his two unforgettable facets as performer, including his most popular hits with his trio on the first CD and on the second with orchestral accompaniment.
"Sometimes death is not as tragic as not knowing how to live. This man knew how to live--and how to make others glad they were living." (Jack Benny epitaph)
"The most successful Black American recording artist of the postwar era." (Jim Miller, Blues FM)
CD 1 - The Trio Sides - Total time: 75:01 min.
CD 2 - The Orchestral Sides - Total time: 74:33 min.