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Posts Tagged ‘Natalie Cole’

RIP, Natalie Cole (December 31, 2015) R&B Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 31, 2015

Natalie Cole
February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015

Natalie-ColeNatalie Cole was an American R&B singer who, over the course of a career that spanned 6 decades, sold over 30 million albums and earned nine Grammys.  Born into a show business family – her father was Nat King Cole and her mother was Maria Hawkins Cole, a one-time singer for Duke Ellington, Cole followed her parents into show business at a very early age.  When she was just six, she sang on her father’s iconic Christmas album, and within five years, she was performing on stage.  After graduating from college, Cole began singing in clubs and soon caught the ear of a couple of producers who recorded a few tracks and shopped them around.  Capitol Records signed her and released her first album, Inseparable, in 1975.  The album contained her first top 10 single, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” which resulted in Cole’s first two Grammys, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best New Artist.  The balance of the ’70s were extremely prosperous for Cole as she released several more hit records; performed to sell-out crowds; and made numerous TV appearance including her own two specials.  The early ’80s were less kind to her as record sales dwindled and she battled her own personal demons.  But by 1987, Cole’s career was bouncing back.  Her 1987 dance album, Everlasting, brought her back to the charts with such hit singles as, “Everlasting,” “Jump Start,” “I Live For Your Love,” and her pop crossover version of Bruce Springsteen‘s “Pink Cadillac.”  The hits continued through the early ’90s and beyond, with Cole’s style maturing into that which made her father famous, jazz vocals/traditional pop.  She continued to record and perform to adoring fans over the next two decades, but in December of 2015, it was later revealed, she had to cancel several shows due to ongoing health problems.  On December 31, 2015, Natalie Cole died of congestive heart failure at the age of 65.

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Died On This DAte (July 10, 2012) Maria Hawkins Cole / Jazz Singer; Wife Of Nat King Cole; Mother of Natalie Cole

Posted by themusicsover on July 10, 2012

Maria Hawkins Cole
1922 – July 10, 2012

Maria Hawkins was a popular jazz vocalist who began her career singing for the likes of Count Basie and Duke Ellington.  In 1946, Hawkins launched her solo career and began singing at the legendary Club Zanzibar in New York City.  She soon met the great Nat King Cole and the two married in 1948.  Throughout the ’50s, Hawkins Cole traveled and performed with husband.  In 1950, Hawkins Cole gave birth to their daughter, Natalie Cole who went on to become a multi-Grammy award-winning R&B singer.  Maria Hawkins Cole died on cancer on July 10, 2012.  She was 89.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.



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Died On This Date (February 23, 2012) Mike Melvoin / Jazz Pianist; Studio Session Legend

Posted by themusicsover on February 23, 2012

Mike Melvoin
May 10, 1937 – February 23, 2012

Mike Melvoin was a much-respected jazz pianist whose talent can be heard on countless records by some of the biggest names in music.  Since 1961, Melvoin graced recordings by such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Tom Waits, Peggy Lee, Michael Jackson, and Charlie Haden.  As one of L.A.’s leading session players, it was Melvoin who got the call to play on such landmark recordings as the Jackson 5’s “ABC,” the Beach Boy’s “Good Vibrations,” Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable,” Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen,” and John Lennon’s “Stand By Me.”   He released several albums of his own as well, on such respected labels as Verve, Dot, and Liberty.  Melvoin also found time to raise his own family of respected musicians – Wendy Melvoin of Wendy & Lisa, Jonathan Melvoin of Smashing Pumpkins fame, and Susannah Melvoin.   Mike Melvoin was 74 when he died of cancer on February 23, 2012.

Thanks Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.




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Died On This Date (February 24, 1988) Memphis Slim / Blues Legend

Posted by themusicsover on February 24, 2010

Memphis Slim (Born John Chatman)
September 3, 1915 – February 24, 1988

Photo By Raeburn Flerlage

Photo By Raeburn Flerlage

Memphis Slim was a jump blues pianist and prolific composer who could count over 500 recordings as his own.  He got his start during the early ’30s by playing honky-tonks and dance halls throughout Arkansas and Missouri.  In 1939, he migrated up to Chicago where he started out playing gigs with Big Bill Broonzy.  In 1940, Slim began making his own records.  One of those recordings, “Nobody Loves Me” has been covered (as “Every Day I Have The Blues”) by the likes of Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Ella Fitzgerald, and Natalie Cole, to name just a few.   Like so many of the blues greats of the first part of the 20th century, Slim made a nice comeback during the folk and blues revival of the early ’60s.  He was so respected around the world, that the U.S. Senate once named him an Ambassador-At-Large of Good Will.  Memphis Slim was 72 when he died of renal failure on February 24, 1988.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

The Folkways Years, 1959-1973 - Memphis Slim

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