“I'm an interpreter of stories. When I perform it's like sitting down at my piano and telling fairy stories.” - Nat King Cole, Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Pianist and Vocalist
“The Nat King Cole Show”, the first variety program hosted by an African-American, debuted 63 years ago today — a groundbreaking moment in the history of television. While it only lasted for one season, “The Nat King Cole Show” was a historic first for African American performers, as Cole was the first black man welcomed into America’s living rooms on a nationally broadcasted television program. A Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and vocalist known for his soft baritone voice, Nat King Cole was already a household name when his eponymous television show debuted in 1956, with hits like "Nature Boy”, "Mona Lisa” and "Too Young” becoming radio staples. A versatile performer, Cole had more than 150 singles reach the Billboard Pop, R&B, and Country charts as a solo performer and as the leader of the Nat King Cole Trio, making him one of the best-charting music artists in the history of the United States.