Alabama’s Own Nat King Cole

- Simpkins, Daphne
Nat King Cole not only lived the American dream, but he helped create it. As one of the most memorable voices in American music, Nat Cole literally went from rags to riches while singing about love, loss, the Mona Lisa and a Nature Boy. Although originally a jazz pianist, Cole moved into performing popular music because it paid better. He had made that same practical choice years earlier when he did not pursue a very promising career in professional baseball. Instead, as a pop singer, Cole gave voice to the lyrics that reflected the romance of daily life in America. Cole’s life story parallels the growth of jazz in America, but his is also an interesting success story which occurred, in part, during the civil rights movement. This musical genius from Alabama was an artist, a performer and a businessman. This presentation explores his legacies.

The speaker prefers a lapel microphone but is comfortable at a podium, as well.