What Was Nat King Cole’s Most Famous Song?

by Jeremy Spirogis
Nat King Cole

Legendary singer Nat “King” Cole was on the prime of his profession all through the 1940s and 1950s. Known as a jazz pianist, the award-winning artist loved nice success, together with a string of hits with recording labels corresponding to Capitol Records.

Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole | Don Smith/Radio Times by way of Getty Images

The one track he’s identified most for would shock even Cole, who died in 1965.

Nat King Cole’s legacy

One of probably the most profitable singers of his period – of any race – Cole broke boundaries seemingly by being himself. His easygoing nature and, most notably, his expertise, spoke for themselves.

“That was the great gift of his charisma,” Daniel Mark Epstein, the creator of a 1999 biography of the singer, mentioned in a 2019 dialog with NPR. “That there was so much passion in his voice and so much intelligence, he was able to transcend the color barrier.”

Nat King ColeNat King Cole
Nat King Cole | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The “Mona Lisa” singer had been a heavy smoker and lived solely to the age of 45 after succumbing to lung most cancers. But his music and voice are nonetheless as beloved today as ever.

“Nat King Cole’s voice is really one of the great gifts of nature,” Epstein added. “Remember, he was never trained as a singer. And so, his voice is absolutely pure. He’s a baritone with absolutely perfect pitch. He sings the notes true and he hits them right in the center.”

Natalie Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’ “duet” along with her father

In 1991, singer Natalie Cole moved away from her jazz and pop area of interest to launch her album Unforgettable With Love. It was a love letter of kinds to her father, that includes her renditions of his hottest songs, together with “Smile,” “Route 66,” and the track that put Natalie again on the map after a tough few years going out and in of rehab for drug abuse, “Unforgettable.”

Nat King Cole and familyNat King Cole and family
Nat King Cole and household | John Franks/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The latter track featured Natalie and Nat in a “virtual duet,” a follow that, whereas usually used now, was groundbreaking on the time, and introduced the 1950s celebrity again to life by the use of a recording.

She advised The Independent, “Nothing had been attempted like that. To lift Dad’s voice, literally, off of that track and put it on a brand new one, and then line it up, match it up, get the phrasing right. I remember listening – everyone listening at the end, and we were just enthralled. It was really wonderful.”

The album and track swept each class that they had been nominated in on the Grammys in 1992. “I thank my dad for leaving me such a wonderful, wonderful heritage,” Natalie Cole mentioned at Radio City Music Hall that yr.

The album and track made it to No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1991, but it surely was Natalie’s accomplishment, not her father’s.

His most well-known track stays standard today

Cole’s most well-known track? It’s “The Christmas Song” recorded by Nat King Cole in 1953. Written by Mel Torme particularly for Cole, the vacation tune is wildly standard, naturally, between November and December every year.

Nat King Cole and his daughter, NatalieNat King Cole and his daughter, Natalie
Nat King Cole and his daughter, Natalie | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

With its imagery of heat chestnuts and youngsters ready for Santa Claus to make his annual go to, Cole’s recording of “The Christmas Song” catapulted the singer again into the highest 5 on Billboard in 2019.

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