"If I could read it, I could play it." - Nat King Cole
A lot of time has been spent covering the lives of history's most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors' American Legends series, listeners can get caught up on the lives of America's most important men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute. And they can do so while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.
Among the most recognizable and iconic vocal artists known to American society from the mid-20th to the 21st century, baritone Nat King Cole is indelible in the nation's consciousness for such hits as "Mona Lisa" and "Ramblin' Rose" as well as for his rendition of Mel Tormé's famous "Christmas Song", with the opening line known to millions of American households: "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire." Cole is almost synonymous with the Christmas holiday season. His entire career, following an early start as a first-rate pianist, includes a consistent string of similar hits, including: "Route 66", "Sweet Lorraine", "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons", "Nature Boy," "Too Young", "Answer Me", "Walkin' My Baby Back Home", "Straighten Up and Fly Right", "Lush Life", "Those Hazy Lazy Crazy Days of Summer", "People", "That Sunday That Summer", "Dear Lonely Hearts", "L-O-V-E", and "Unforgettable". His gentle baritone sound, elegant phrasing, and crystal-clear enunciation are unmistakable, and have remained as a beloved fixture in America's collective ear for well over half a century.