Nat King Col

Nat "King" Cole
Music is a universal language, a language that many can speak; however, one that only few can master. One of those masters was Nat "King" Cole. A true legend, Nat not only could carry a song with his voice, but also through his incredible skills with the piano. Today, Nat is most remembered for that soft, soothing and so powerful voice; however he is recognized as one of the greatest jazz pianists of all-time.
The man today known as Nat "King" Cole was actually born in Nathaniel Adams Coles, in Montgomery, Alabama on March 17, 1917. By the age of four, his father, Edward James Coles Sr. and his mother, Perlina Adams Coles, decided it would be best that the family move to Chicago. By the time Nat reached four years of age, his father quit his job as a grocer and moved his family to Chicago, where he became a preacher.
This decision would have had a huge impact on the family as a whole, but especially in the case of Nat. Moving to Chicago was the first step in Nat?s rise to fame, the place where the foundation of a jazz superstar would be built.
As a child, Nat dreamed to be a big band leader and soloist in the tradition of his idol, Earl "Fatha" Hines. By twelve years old, Nat was already playing the organ at church, amazing for such a young man only trained by his mother. Later, Nat would be enrolled in formal piano lessons, which only further add to his impressive repertoire.
At fifteen years old, Nat decided to drop the "s" in his name, to become Nathaniel Adams Cole. By the age 17, Nat formed a 14-piece band, composed of students from both Wendall Philips and Dusable High schools in Chicago. The band would go around Chicago, working for as little as $2 or $3 a night.
In 1936, Nat made his first recording for Decca, as part of his brother Eddie?s band, the Solid Swingers; however, his time with the band would not last. Later in 1936, Nat left Chicago for Los Angeles, where he would eventually land his big break.
In Los Angeles, Nat joined a Eubie Blake?s revival of "Shuffle Along", in 1936. Here he worked with a dancer Nadine Robinson, who would later become his future wife. Nat continued his role in the musical until it disbanded in Long Beach California, in 1937.
When Shuffle?s run was ended, Nat became intensely involved in the club scene, playing wherever he could get a chance and it was in the club scene that Nat would get his break, in the form of club promoter Bob Lewis (who is also rumoured to the person who convinced Nat to become Nat "King" Cole).
On one summer?s day, while playing at the Century Club, Nat was approached by Lewis to form a band. Lewis saw a special talent in Nat and offered him $75/week if he would play the Swanee Inn. Nat gladly accepted, not knowing that this offer would eventually lead to the success and wealth that had been eluding him for the most part. The King Cole Trio was about to be born.
Nat now had to form a group. The first person to come to Nat?s mind was the drummer, Lee Young. Young however, had different ideas, deciding that there was no room for a drummer at the Swanee. Next Nat approached bassist Wesley Prince, whom he had met while playing the at club scene. Prince decided to accept Nat?s offer and along the way suggested the name of a guitarist named Oscar Moore, who would become the final member of the trio. Originally called King Cole and his Swingsters, the band eventually evolved to become the name that is famous today, the King Cole Trio.
The trio was a talented group. From the second they played together, it was clear that these men performed with real chemistry, especially Nat and Oscar. Both men grew up listening to the same great jazz artists, including: Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Jimmy Noone and Art Tatum, all of whom had a profound influence on Nat?s and Oscar?s playing styles; yet there was something more when these two played together. The two had a musical connection; with one complementing the others style perfectly.
After hearing the Trio, Bob Lewis knew he had found something special and he