To celebrate not only St Patrick’s Day but also the birthday of Nat King Cole (b. March 17, 1919 Montgomery Alabama), here’s a St Patrick’s Day gift to the clan, a video of Nat doing one of his favorites, “Sweet Lorraine”. Delectable…
Nathaniel Adams Coles was the first black to host a TV variety show. His baritone voice was legendary, as was his distinguished gentle demeanor. Earl “Fatha” Hines was said to be his musical inspiration. This Wikipedia entry is a fascinating read, from which I quote the following:
“It is a common misconception that Nat Cole’s singing career did not start until a drunken barroom patron demanded that he sing “Sweet Lorraine.” In fact, Nat Cole has gone on record saying that the fabricated story “sounded good, so I just let it ride.” Nat Cole frequently sang in between instrumental numbers. Noticing that people started to request more vocal numbers, he obliged. Yet, the story of the insistent customer is not without merit. There was such a customer, who requested a certain song one night, but a song that Nat did not know. Instead he sang “Sweet Lorraine.” The trio was tipped 15 cents for the performance, a nickel apiece (Nat King Cole: An Intimate Biography, Maria Cole with Louie Robinson, 1971).”
Nat, a 3 pack a day cigarette smoker, succumbed to lung cancer at age 45. What a gift he was!