As both a singer and Jazz pianist of the highest caliber, Nat recorded literally thousands of songs, a staggering amount of which are well worth the listen. Over the years, there have been thousands of releases in a dazzling array of formats. If you are interested in or simply curious about Nat King Cole's music, this site is here as a handy reference!
All Nat's recordings, best as I can figure it! You can find lists of tracks he recorded, as well as some information about when he recorded them, some commentary by yours truly and the original releases where applicable on albums and singles.
A reference listing what information I may about the releases made during Nat's own lifetime.
This section focuses on the reissues - Nat's recordings on CD and LP reissues. Tracks are listed, with some reviews, info and covers.
Informal and unofficial discussions, comments about his recordings, and suggestions for finding the best of what's available now. Other topics of possible interest which may also be discussed include recording technology, the music business and other topics and performers contemporary with Nat.
All this information is presented in a way which I hope will help you to make sense of it all.
Obviously, it's a work-in-progress with a long ways to go! So please excuse the rough and spartan shape it's in right now.
Some years back, about ooooh a generation ago, I was listening to a hits CD and liked one of the songs in particular. The CD notes said the track was by Nat King Cole and was from an album of his. I went online to learn more about the album and find out what else he might've recorded around that time. There were tons of "hits" on a search engine, a million places selling a million Nat King Cole compilations, but little useful info. As I came to enjoy more of his music, I looked further online and still didn't find much discussion about him. The situation hasn't improved all that much. So I've been trying to do something about that by making this site, which, by the way, is named after one of Nat's own instrumental compositions, A Pile 'O Cole.
There are three formal discographies. Much of his recorded musical career is covered in the discographies included in the Mosaic Records and Bear Family Record box sets. The other option is in printed form from Roy Holmes. Either option is expensive and has a neccessarily limited context. Therefore, I set sights on attempting to make an informal discography online. It would be just little ole me doing it, with zero budget, very little spare time, no access to archives or Roy Holmes' work, and a partial (but not bad) collection of Nat's records. It won't ever be complete or accurate, but it can help some folks trying to make sense of the masses of issues and find the recordings they want as well as spread appreciation for Nat and his music.
I'm slowly working on it in odd moments. If you can help, email me. Corrections, tips and donations ;) are gratefully welcomed. Likewise if you need information, inquiries are welcome. Please note that replies may take some time. I should clarify, as well, that I do not sell CDs nor provide any music in any form; and I am not in any way affiliated with the Nat King Cole estate nor Capitol / EMI. Opinions expressed are my own unless specifically noted and do not represent the views of Capitol / EMI nor the Nat King Cole estate.
Nat King Cole's music is one of the pleasures of this world which we all can enjoy throughout our lives. His innate gentility, artistry and dignity is also an inspiration. If this site helps anyone to gain better awareness of his recordings and helps with access to them, then it's been worth all the work.
- Still trying to straighten up and fly right, A Pile o' Cole
Condolences to the Cole family, friends and associates of Maria Cole, the widow of Nat Cole. She was a much loved and respected lady who maintained a loving family and estate in difficult times with exemplary dignity. For more, see this article:
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Nat King Cole Generation Hope Inc. in Boca Raton.