Singing 20 songs and playing the piano, these are marvelous clips from Nat King Cole's 1956 NBC television show, which sadly was ahead of its time, and could not get sponsorship, so the decision was made by him to cancel. It was nevertheless a big groundbreaker for that period of history, and this incredible musician and singer was the "Jackie Robinson of television", and suffered the consequences.
His charismatic presence on the screen is amazing, and there is a warmth and naturalness to him, as if he was singing to you in his own home; one senses that he was a great human being as well as a great singer, and he certainly was "one of the most beloved vocalists in music history".
The music for the most part has a strong jazz flavor, and he does 2 numbers with the Oscar Peterson Trio (Ray Brown on bass, Herb Ellis on guitar), with Coleman Hawkins joining them on "Sweet Lorraine". There's a terrific duet with Ella Fitzgerald ("Too Close for Comfort"), and one of my favorites is with the great Johnny Mercer, "Save the Bones for Henry Jones". Another treasure is his rendition of "The Christmas Song", heavenly 365 days a year.
Interviewed are his 3 daughters, Casey, Timolin, and Natalie, his beautiful wife Maria, and brother Freddy. The producer/director of the NBC show, Bob Henry, talks about the show, and his admiration and respect for Cole.
Nat King Cole had his first big hit in 1941, and continued to have chart-toppers until his passing at age 48 of lung cancer. His rich, smooth voice and easy-going style have been an inspiration to singers that have come after him, and a joy to listeners for all time. This DVD is a lovely way to remember him, hear his fabulous talent, and feel the glow of his personality.
The audio/visual quality from the TV show is as one would expect from the '50s (the interviews are of recent vintage), and total running time is approximately 1 hour.