March 17 affords us an opportunity to not only celebrate a saint - the venerable Patrick - but also a king. The royal side of this pairing is the inimitable jazz pianist and singer, Nat "King" Cole, who was born on this day in Montgomery, Alabama in 1919. Powerline's cultural observer, Scott Johnson, posted a fine tribute to the man in 2009 so I'm not about to try and improve it. On the other hand, I will point out that Cole had a significant link to Georgia through his association with Savannah's favorite son, Johnny Mercer.
Here is a sample of that history in sound from the trio before 1955:
I would like to add another video to the mix. This one features Cole singing with Johnny Mercer. What a pleasure it is to watch these two extraordinary artists enjoying themselves in a fun performance on Cole's NBC television show from the 1950s.
Photos and Illustration:
Cole at the piano, June 1947, William Gottleib Photo Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Title, 1943 song written by Cole and Irving Mills
Glenn T. Eskew, Johnny Mercer: Southern Songwriter for the World, Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2013.