Nathaniel Adams Coles, known professionally as Nat "King" Cole, was an African American jazz pianist and pop musician from 1935 through until his death in 1965. He is famous for his baritone voice, and since his death in '65, he's managed to attain worldwide popularity.
Early life Edit
Nathaniel Coles was born in Montgomery, Alabama, on March 17th of 1919. In his early childhood, at the age of four, Coles moved with his family to Chicago, Illinois where his father became a Baptist minister and his mother became a church organist. Coles' first performance was at age four where he did the song, "Yes! We Have No Bananas."
It wasn't until eight years, however, that Coles began taking formal lessons in music. During this teaching, he found himself knowing how to sing jazz, gospel, and even European classical musical styles.
Coles and his family lived in central Chicago, in Bronzeville. During his teen years, he'd sneak out and go hand round the night clubs, listening to artists such as Jimmie Noone and Louis Armstrong. Coles also lived with his three brothers, Eddie, Ike, and Freddy, the former of which later joined Coles' original band.
Coles obtained his nickname "King" after performing in a club, and was initially a reference to the old nursery rhyme, Old King Cole. Coles' initial career as a small-town jazz pianist soon ended after the "Shuffle Along" revue with Eubie Blake failed in Long Beach, California. Having made there, Coles decided to remain in California, and eventually picked up a job with Capitol Records.
- Main article: Nat King Cole/discography