Born March 17, 1919 in Montgomery, Alabama, Nat King Cole reigns among a very short list of music royalty as one of the most identifiable and most memorable voices in American music. In 1942, Cole was one of the first artists to sign with Capitol Records, and he recorded nearly 700 songs for the label, becoming the first Number One artist on Billboard‘s first album chart. During his 30-year recording career, Cole recorded more than 150 charting singles on Billboard‘s Pop, R&B and Country charts, a staggering record that remains unbroken by any other artist ever signed to Capitol Records, which led to the label being affectionately tagged, “The House That Nat Built.”
In 1956, Cole also became the first person of color to host his own national network television show, NBC’s “Nat King Cole Show.” 1965 saw the release of Cole’s classic album, Unforgettable, and his untimely passing that year at the age of 47. At the time of his death, it was reported that Capitol Records had sold more than nine million Nat King Cole records. From “Mona Lisa” to “Unforgettable,” Nat King Cole’s songs are incomparable; it is difficult to contemplate a holiday season without the warmth of Cole’s evergreen rendition of “The Christmas Song.” Cole’s catalog continues to sell in excess of one million albums per year around the world.