The Nat King Cole Story
The Nat King Cole Story
Nat King Cole
Released 1961
May 27, 1991
Recorded March 22–24, 27, 29-30
April 3
July 6, 19-20, 1961
Length 103:45
Label Capitol
Produced by Lee Gillette

The Nat King Cole Story, is Nat King Cole's twenty-fourth studio album. This compilation of new studio recordings was released in 1961. The album is a retrospective of Cole's entire career until 1961.

The Nat King Cole Story was nominated at the 4th Grammer Awards in 1962 for "Album of the Year." However, The Nat King Cole Story lost in the competition to Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall.

Much to popular belief, The Nat King Cole Story was not a compilation album per se as the tracks of the album were entirely new recordings, featuring thirty-six of Nat King Cole's greatest hits, primarily those from his 1950s work with Capitol Records. Though, there are several other hits from his early days with the King Cole Trio. The album was recorded along with several arrangers, usually the same arranger on the tracks they recorded with Cole the first time.

In addition to slightly new arrangements, The Nat King Cole Story was Cole's first recorded performed in full stereo. This album featured Cole's fourth and final rendition of the Mel Tormé and Robert Wells song, "The Christmas Song." This version of the song is one of the most-popular and replayed version of the song. A version featuring this recorded was virtually mixed to feature Frank Sinatra, released on his 1995 80th birthday compilation Sinatra 80th: All the Best.

This album has been re-released several times over the course of its time as well. The album was originally released in late 1961. As part of its thirtieth anniversary, the album was released on CS and CD formats on May 27, 1991. The Nat King Cole Story was released again in 1997, and again in 2001.

Track listing Edit

Disc 1
  1. "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (Nat King Cole, Irving Mills) – 2:36
  2. "Sweet Lorraine" (Cliff Burwell, Mitchell Parish) – 3:22
  3. "It's Only a Paper Moon" (Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg, Billy Rose) – 2:57
  4. "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" (Bobby Troup) – 2:56
  5. "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons" (William Best, Deek Watson) – 3:04
  6. "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)" (Mel Tormé, Robert Wells) – 3:11
  7. "Nature Boy" (eden ahbez) – 2:53
  8. "Lush Life" (Billy Strayhorn) – 3:46
  9. "Calypso Blues" (Cole, D.W. George) – 3:25
  10. "Mona Lisa" (Ray Evans, Jay Livingston) – 3:27
  11. "Orange Colored Sky" (Milton DeLugg, Willie Stein) – 2:33
  12. "Too Young" (Sylvia Dee, Sidney Lippman) – 3:24
Disc 2
  1. "Unforgettable" (Irving Gordon) – 3:27
  2. "Somewhere Along the Way" (Kurt Adams, Sammy Gallop) – 3:00
  3. "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" (Fred E. Ahlert, Roy Turk) – 2:42
  4. "Pretend" (Dan Belloc, Lew Douglas, Frank LaVere, Cliff Parman) – 2:45
  5. "Blue Gardenia" (Lester Lee, Bob Russell) – 3:04
  6. "I Am in Love" (Cole Porter) – 2:33
  7. "Answer Me, My Love" (Fred Rauch, Carl Sigman, Gerhard Winkler) – 2:56
  8. "Smile" (Charlie Chaplin, Geoff Parsons, John Turner) – 2:53
  9. "Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup" (Anna Sosenko) – 2:48
  10. "The Sand and the Sea" (Cole, Hoot Hester) – 2:41
  11. "If I May" (Rose Marie McCoy, Charles Singleton) – 2:57
  12. "A Blossom Fell" (Howard Barnes, Harold Cornelius, Dominic John) – 2:41
Disc 3
  1. "To the Ends of the Earth" (Noel Sherman, Joe Sherman) – 2:25
  2. "Night Lights" (Chester Conn, Gallop) – 2:48
  3. "Ballerina" (Russell, Sigman) – 2:41
  4. "Stardust" (Hoagy Carmichael, Parish) – 3:14
  5. "Send for Me" (Ollie Jones) – 2:30
  6. "St. Louis Blues" (W. C. Handy) – 2:25
  7. "Looking Back" (Brook Benton, Belford Hendricks, Clyde Otis) – 2:26
  8. "Non Dimenticar" (Shelly Dobbins, Michele Galdieri, Gino Redi) – 3:07
  9. "Paradise" (Nacio Herb Brown, Gordon Clifford) – 3:11
  10. "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep" (Cole, Gordon Jenkins) – 1:55
  11. "Ay, Cosita Linda" (Pacho Galon) – 2:14
  12. "Wild Is Love" (Ray Rasch, Dotty Wayne) – 2:48

Personnel Edit

Nat King Cole vocal, piano, arranger
Ralph Carmichael arranger, conductor
Billy May arranger, conductor
Stan Kenton conductor
Nelson Riddle arranger
Gordon Jenkins arranger
Pete Rugolo arranger
Frank DeVol arranger
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