Nat King Cole had over 100 hit singles, both as a solo act and with the King Cole Trio, between 1940 and his death in 1965. He had a popular TV show in the Fifties, which was one of the first shows with an African-American host (and which folded largely due to lack of national sponsorship). Looking at MusicVF, these were his top-charting singles for the period.
“Mona Lisa” was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston for the 1950 film Captain Carey, USA. It won the 1950 Academy Award for Best Original Song. Nat’s arrangement was done by Nelson Riddle and he was backed by Les Baxter and His Orchestra. The song spent 8 weeks atop the Billboard singles chart that year and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992.
“Too Young” was releaed in February 1951, spent 5 weeks at #1 on the Singles chart and 29 weeks on the Best Seller chart. Billboard ranked it the #1 song for all of 1951. It was written by Sidney Lippman and Sylvia Dee.
Nat King Cole earned a lot of money for Capitol Records, so much so that the Capitol Records Building at Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles is sometimes referred to as “The House That Nat Built.” Nat had many more hits throughout his career, all of which have been added to YouTube by Bob Moke, a/k/a MusicProf78, so check out his archive for more.
Nat King Cole, your Two for Tuesday, October 10, 2017.