Today in Masonic History Nathaniel Adams Coles (A.K.A Nat King Cole) passes away in 1965.
Nathaniel Adams Coles (A.K.A Nat King Cole) was an American musician and entertainer.
Cole was born in Montgomery, Alabama on March 17th, 1919. When he was four years old the family moved to Chicago, Illinois where his father became a Baptist minister. His mother, who was the church organist, began teaching Cole how to play the organ. Shortly after he gave his first performance of Yes! We have no bananas. He began formal lessons at the age of 12. He eventually learned gospel, jazz and Western classical music. He attended Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago. At night he snuck out to listen to music outside clubs.
It was in the 1930’s Cole began his performing career. He also adopted the stage name of Nat Cole. His older brother eventually join Cole’s band. It was during this time Cole added King in his name. It is believed it was reinforced by the nursery rhyme of Old King Cole.
Cole traveled with his band and eventually ended up in Los Angeles, California where the band suddenly failed. After his first group failed, Cole started another and was soon appearing on radio with the band. Up to this point, Cole did not sing. He quickly discovered doing vocal pieces in between instrumental numbers was a crowd pleaser. Legend has it Cole only sang after a drunk bar patron demanded he sing Sweet Lorraine. Cole himself said it was not true, it was such a good story he just let it go. Like most legends there was an element of truth to the story, after he began singing in between instrumental numbers a drunk patron did demand Cole sing a song he did not know the words to. So Cole sang Sweet Lorraine for which the band was tipped $0.15, which is equal to just over $2 today.
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