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Celebrating The Birthday Of Nat King Cole

Library of Congress

This week on 12th Street Jumpwe celebrate the birthday of Nat King Cole with our special guest Lonnie McFadden. On the funny side, Dr. Pearl gives Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh a piece of her mind, we sing Lonnie's blues and "All That Trash" is a Chicago-esque parody that reveals the truth in politics. Truth in politics...now that's funny.

Nat King Cole hardly needs an introduction. Born in 1919 in Montgomery, AL, he began performing as a jazz pianist in the 1930s, at first with his brother, Eddie, and then with a Broadway tour. The tour took him to Los Angeles, where he stayed and formed the Nat King Cole Trio. At that time, big bands were the standard jazz ensembles, and Cole's small combo of piano, guitar, and bass paved the way for jazz trios in the years to come. The group was signed to Capitol Records in 1943, and had its first hit with "Straighten Up and Fly Right," whose lyrics were based on an old African American folk tale. From there, the trio continued to make hit after hit, reaching great popularity and fixing their focus on pop records, although Cole continued to play on jazz records as well. 


As a prominent African American performer, Cole made great strides in the struggle for African American rights. He fought racism during performances, especially in the South, became the first black host of a musical television review, and crossed former segregation boundaries in several instances in both his professional and personal life.  



This week's program features some of Cole's most-loved hits. Listen and watch Cole and his trio in videos via Youtube.





Straighten Up and Fly Right


All That Jazz



Route 66



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