Tuesday, November 20, 2007
THE NAT KING COLE TRIO
In this pen and ink drawing, I tried to capture The Nat King Cole Trio. The trio consisted of Cole on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, and Wesley Prince on bass. They played around the Los Angeles area from the late 1930s. (During the war, Prince was replaced by Johnny Miller). At first, Cole didn't sing, just played the piano and led the band. Then someone at an L.A. nightclub requested he sing "Sweet Lorraine." Cole resisted at first, then relented when the patron complained to the club manager. The rest, as they say, is history.
Nat King Cole (born Nathanial Adams Coles, 1919, Montgomery, Alabama) was a phenomenally talented jazz singer, songwriter, and pianist. In 1956, The Nat King Cole Show debuted on NBC-TV, breaking down the color barrier on television. Sponsors shied away from the show, and it was canceled a year later. "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark," Cole quipped. In spite of the loss, Cole continued to be a popular entertainer with a long string of hits, beloved by music fans until he died in 1965.
In this clip from 1946, the Nat King Cole Trio can been seen performing "It's Better To Be By Yourself."