Nat "King" Cole

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Early Influence

Inducted in: 2000

Inducted by: Ray Charles

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 2005 (ranked #38 in the Influences - Pre-Rock Era category) .

Essential Albums (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3Amazon CD
Unforgettable (1954)
The Magic Of Christmas (1960)

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
Sraighten Up And Fly Right (1944)
(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 (1946)
The Christmas Song (1946)
Nature Boy (1948)
Mona Lisa (1950)
Unforgettable (1951)
Too Young (1951)
When I Fall in Love (1957)

Nat "King" Cole @ Wikipedia

Nat "King" Cole Videos


4 comments so far (post your own)

Wow, no posts for the legend himself? Unforgettable isn't just a beautifully-composed song, it's also part of the shared American cultural heritage and an apt adjective to describe Mr. Cole's talents and legacy. But he's not just a one trick pony. Nat King Cole's musical repertoire includes Route 66, Straighten Up and Fly Right, Nature Boy, Orange Colored Sky, Walking My Baby Back Home, (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons, The Very Thought of You, Too Young, Ramblin' Rose, and countless others. That's more than I can say for some RRHOF inductees who only have a small number of hits or memorable songs under their belts.

I'm glad that the RRHOF saw fit to induct Nat King Cole as an Early Influence. He's a truly worthy inductee.

Posted by Zach on Sunday, 04.1.12 @ 20:00pm

I know there's some controversy over whether Nat King Cole truly deserves to be an Early Influence in the RRHOF. As evidence, I offer the songs Send For Me and Straighten Up And Fly Right. Listen to them and tell me that they don't sound like forerunners of the rhythm and blues numbers of the 1950s.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 04.9.12 @ 18:30pm

While Cole is perhaps most renowned for his singing, his piano playing skills are equally laudable.

For those who would like to hear Cole's chops on the piano, start with The Nat King Cole Trio: The Instrumental Classics. It's part of a 3-disc set compiling their years on the Capitol label. The other 2 discs feature the vocal pieces.

What made the Nat King Cole Trio so important in jazz was that they operated as a small group during the era of the big bands. In some ways, the NKC Trio anticipated the coming of the bebop movement and cool jazz. Some of the instrumental selections from the NKC Trio feature some pretty complicated piano solos from Cole that wouldn't sound out of place among the later bebop/cool years.

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 05.15.13 @ 05:03am

Will say that The King is one of the finest singers I have ever heard. Taken from us way too early.

Posted by Paul in KY on Wednesday, 05.15.13 @ 21:50pm

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