Saturday, March 17, 2012

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Nat King Cole was born on March 17, 1919

Who's the smoothest, coolest cat to ever croon a classy tune?

Let's put down the Guinness for a moment and spend a few moments remembering one of the most distinctive voices of the Great American Songbook, Nat King Cole. With his rich baritone sound, Cole become an icon of the cool mid-century style, pre-Rock and post-Swing. Moreover, he trail blazed a path to stardom for the many African-American performers that were soon to follow in the Pop/R&B scene.

As regards most male vocalists of the era, such as Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin, I'm not much of a fan. The music simply doesn't appeal to me and neither do the performance stylings of the period. However, Nat King Cole stands out with a subtle jazziness that gives depth to his songs. The typical "Rat Pack" performance was mostly style and little substance, but Cole had both.

Nat King Cole

So let's listen to a few classic pieces. ;-)

Here are some vids:

"Frim Fram Sauce"

"Straighten Up and Fly Right"

"A Blossom Fell"

"You're Looking at Me"



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