Nat King Cole poses for a portrait session in 1964.
On this day in music history: July 8, 1950 – “Mona Lisa” by Nat King Cole hits #1 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart for 8 weeks, also topping the Rhythm & Blues charts for 4 weeks on September 2, 1950. Written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, it is the thirty first single release for the legendary jazz and pop vocalist from Montgomery, AL. The song is featured in the film “Captain Carey, U.S.A.” starring Alan Ladd. Arranged by Nelson Riddle and with instrumental backing by Les Baxter & His Orchestra, Cole’s version of the song is featured on the film’s soundtrack. “Mona Lisa” wins the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1951, quickly becoming a pop standard and is covered by numerous artists over the years, though Cole’s is widely regarded as the definitive version. Nat King Cole’s recording of “Mona Lisa” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1992.
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Nat King Cole and his wife Maria Cole with their son Nat Kelly Cole in 1960.
Photos by David Sutton
Born on this day: March 17, 1919 – Jazz and pop music icon Nat King Cole (born Nathaniel Adams Coles in Montgomery, AL). Happy Birthday to this musical giant on what would have been his 100th Birthday.
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1960′s Ebony Magazine Covers
Ebony Magazine Covers – 1953
Nat King Cole with daughters Natalie and Carole at home circa 1962.
Natalie Cole photographed by Bobby Holland, 1978.