Smorgasbord blog Magazine – Christmas Celebrations – William Price King – Music for Christmas and New Year –


William Price King shares some of the classic Christmas music that has entertained us all at this time of year..

There are a number of ‘historical’ notations about the origins of Jingle Bells. It was composed around 1850 by James Lord Pierpont in or around Savannah or Massachusetts and was allegedly inspired by the town of Medford’s sleigh races. Hence the song’s original title of One Horse Open Sleigh.

It might well have been composed around Thanksgiving rather than Christmas and it its long history it has been a drinking song. Some to the lyrics might imply this and also to the fact that going on a sleigh ride offered a rare opportunity to be alone with your sweetheart!

Anyway here it is performed by the lovely Natalie ColeAmazon

About William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION https://williampriceking.tumblr.com

Connect with William

Websitehttp://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wpkofficial
Regular Venuehttp://cave-wilson.com/ 
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-music-colum

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An Evening with William Price King – Christmas Music – Jingle Bells by Natalie Cole.


Another Christmas special from William Price King with Christmas day almost with us and this time the all-time favourite.. Jingle Bells.

There are a number of ‘historical’ notations about the origins of Jingle Bells. It was composed around 1850 by James Lord Pierpont in or around Savannah or Massachusetts and was allegedly inspired by the town of Medford’s sleigh races. Hence the song’s original title of One Horse Open Sleigh.

It might well have been composed around Thanksgiving rather than Christmas and it its long history it has been a drinking song.  Some to the lyrics might imply this and also to the fact that going on a sleigh ride offered a rare opportunity to be alone with your sweetheart!

Anyway here it is performed by the lovely Natalie Cole..

Wherever you are, and whoever you are dancing with during the holidays.. Merry Christmas and please drop in again soon.

William and Sally

About William Price King.

williampricekingAbout William Price King

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

Connect to William

Website – http://www.williampriceking.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/WilliamPriceKing
Twitter – @wpkofficial
Regular Venue – http://cave-wilson.com/
ITunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/william-price-king/id788678484

You can find all of William’s posts on Jazz, Classical and Contemporary artists in this link: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-a-man-and-his-music-jazz-classical-and-contemporary-legends/

A Man and his Music – William Price King meets Natalie Cole -The Finale


51fTflbjnPL._SS135_SL160_Welcome to the finale of the Natalie Cole story and last time we covered the revival in Natalie’s career and her re-emergence as a best-selling artist. The other parts to her story can be found here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/natalie-cole/

The rest of the 90s continued to bring impressive recordings and chart success which included two further albums with the Elektra label; Snowfall on the Sahara and The Magic of Christmas released in 1999 recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Natalie Cole’s first album of the new millennium was the compilation Greatest Hits Vol. 1. The tracks included her hits from her twenty-five year career such as Pink Cadillac, Miss You Like Crazy and the duet with Nat King Cole, Unforgettable. Here is This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) from the album in a live performance from 1975 uploaded by
jondbee56

In 2001 Natalie starred as herself in Livin’ For Love: The Natalie Cole Story which was the NBC adaptation of her autobiography, Angel on my Shoulder. She received the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special for this deeply moving role in the story of her career and private struggles with addiction.

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Buy the book: http://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Cole/e/B001HCZZE6

Following this Natalie switched recording labels to Verve Records and released two albums. Ask A Woman who Knows, in 2002, celebrated her jazz roots and included guest vocalist Diana Krall. The album received four Grammy nominations and achieved Silver status and No 1. in the jazz charts.. As with her autobiography the chosen tracks charted her experiences in life and love as well as milestones in her career with songs previously recorded by Nina Simone, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. She reunited with Tommy LiPuma for the album and this added extra magic to the recordings. Here is Natalie Cole and Diana Krall with Better than Anything – a tribute to shopping! Uploaded by TransatlanticMoments

In 2006 Verve released Natalie’s 20th album; Leavin’ featuring pop, rock and R&B standards originally recorded by the top artists in the genres  including Daydreaming by Aretha Franklin, The Man with the Child in his Eyes by Kate Bush and If I Ever Lose my Faith in You by Sting. The album also included two original songs 5 Minutes Away written with Dallas Austin and Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time for Love) with an Ernie Isley and Chris Jasper collaboration.

Seventeen years after Unforgettable… With Love, Natalie released Still Unforgettable which featured not only her father’s most memorable songs but also of other artists such as Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne and Sammy Davis Jr. Tracks included The Best Is Yet To Come, Somethings Gotta Give and Walking My Baby Back Home uploaded by

 

The album reached No 19 in the US chart and No 1 in the jazz chart and Natalie won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album at the 51st Grammy Awards.

Natalie’s acting career had flourished in the early part of the decade with appearances on popular television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, Touched by an Angel and Law in Order; Special Victims Unit.

2008 was also a pivotal year in Natalie’s personal life as she announced that she had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C, resulting from her years of intravenous drug abuse; something that she had been very open about publicly. She warned others that they might also be a ticking time bomb as the infection can lie dormant for many years.

Following a months of treatment for the disease, Natalie experienced kidney failure and was put on dialysis. She appeared on Larry King Live appealing for a kidney donor and in a twist of fate the show was being watched by a nurse who had treated Natalie in hospital. Tragically, two months later the nurse’s niece died unexpectedly of a stroke and being an organ donor and a match for Natalie, she was offered her kidney.

The donor and her family were from El Salvador and this inspired Natalie to become closer to the culture.

“I wouldn’t put it past the possibility that there is a spirit of Latino inside of me, because of this family,” says Natalie. “Ever since then, my passion for Spanish and everything Latin, all of a sudden became more intense. I couldn’t even figure it out myself.”

Following this life saving gift and her recovery, Natalie continued to tour and record but her health issues continued. She became a spokesperson for the University Kidney Research Organisation which worked to eradicating kidney disease and in 2010 she wrote her second book; Love Brought Me Back.

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Whilst it was difficult to schedule tours with the challenge of her health issues, Natalie was able to appear in a number of feature films and made for television movies including the Cole Porter biopic De-Lovely an the lead in Lily in Winter. She also guested on Macy Gray’s album Big singing Finally Make Me Happy, and in 2010 she performed with Andrea Bocelli in a concert at the Kodak Theatre for his album My Christmas. Here they are with The Christmas Song uploaded by azores46

In June 2013, Natalie released her first studio album in five years for Verve/Universal. Natalie Cole En Espanol was a compilation of Latin standards lavishly orchestrated by Rudy Perez, Billboard’s Latin Music Producer of the Decade. Nat King Cole had found the Latin American Songbook a wonderful and successful avenue to explore and as well as covering some of his classics, Natalie also included some of the best from the Songbook. She had never sung in Spanish before and she had this to say about the album.

This album is not so much a tribute to my father as it is to Latin music,” she says. “My whole thing was, if I’m going to do this as a first-timer, a non-Spanish-speaking American, I need to pay tribute to the music. I need to honor it because I’m not entitled to just sing it any kind of way. I have a duty to make it real, to pick authentic, beautiful, traditional Latin songs. And that’s what we went for.”

Rudy Perez initially brought in a language coach to ensure an authentic sound to the vocals but they soon discovered that Natalie was a natural and she needed no further assistance.

Rudy commented: “I found out she has an incredible ability to sing in Spanish phonetically, as you can hear on the album,” says Perez. “I couldn’t believe it, she was so good…She could roll her “r’s”, just unbelievable.”

From the original 120 songs that Rudy Perez and Natalie considered they decided on twelve tracks. Some were songs that her father had recorded such as Noche de Ronda, Latin standards such as Besame Mucho featuring Andrea Bocelli and Maria Grever’s Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado (What a Difference A Day Makes).

The album was nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards and here is the stunning father/daughter duet Acércate Mas.

Sadly following further health complications Natalie Cole died of congestive heart failure on New Year’s Eve 2015. Tributes poured in from around the world including these from President Obama and stars of the music industry.

“You don’t maintain a 40-plus-year career by accident,” said songwriter David Foster. “It’s just a short list of real singers who could prevail against the changing tide of public taste. Natalie transcended this simple genre classification whether it was R&B, sassy in her early hits, or her later work interpreting the jazz standards.”

“Natalie had one extra pressure that she was faced with every day of her life,” said singer Lionel Richie. “She was a little girl who wanted to be a superstar in a family that already had a superstar. That’s what make her prize of winning so unforgettable.”

Tony Bennett added on Instagram: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Natalie Cole, as I have cherished the long friendship I had with her, her father Nat, and the family over the years. Natalie was an exceptional jazz singer and it was an honor to have recorded and performed with her on several occasions. She was a lovely and generous person who will be greatly missed.”

As you will have realised from the last three posts, Natalie Cole left behind a legacy of music that not only celebrated the work of her father but her own extraordinary talent. Thankfully with the wonders of modern technology we can still listen and enjoy that talent for our own lifetimes which is a precious gift.

About William Price King

williampriceking

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

You can find the other artists in the previous series here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king-jazz-and-music-series/

Thank you to William for this series on Natalie Cole and her music. I am sure you have enjoyed as much as I have and we would be delighted to have your feedback and if you would be kind enough to share on your own networks.
Sally.

A Man and His Music – William Price King meets Natalie Cole – The Early Years


Welcome to the new series by William Price King and having enjoyed the wonderful artistry of her father Nat King Cole over the last few weeks, we are now going to be following the story and career of his daughter Natalie Cole who sadly died on New Year’s Eve 2015.

220px-76natalieAs an artist there can be nothing more daunting than following in the footsteps of a very famous and successful superstar. This was compounded by the fact that she lost her father, when he tragically died so young in 1965, leaving Natalie with a legacy to uphold as a teenager. Despite this, Natalie carved out a successful career for herself, very much sticking to her own music and producing albums that delighted her fans around the world.

Natalie Cole was born in February 1950 into the musical household headed by Nat King Cole and his jazz singer wife, Maria Cole. Their home in Los Angeles was at the heart of the music industry of the day and if having parents so heavily involved in the business was not enough; her uncle Freddy Cole was also an award winning singer and pianist. There were five children in the growing Cole family and they were raised in an environment that encouraged their natural musical abilities. Jazz, soul and blues artists would have also added their influences as the younger generation mingled with musicians and singers in those very heady years of the industry.

Her recording career began early when she performed a duet with her father on his Christmas Album at age 6 and by 11 years old, she was performing in the community regularly. This wonderful and nurturing environment was shattered with the death of Nat King Cole from cancer in 1965 when Natalie was only fifteen years old and the subsequent move away from Los Angeles to Massachusetts. Natalie attended the prestigious Northfield Mount Hermon High School and for a time her focus moved away from music to her academic studies.

Following high school, Natalie enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and studied Child psychology and German. She did transfer to the University of California for a short time but returned to Massachusetts to complete her bachelor’s degree in 1972.

Growing up Natalie had been exposed to music of every style from soul singer Aretha Franklin to blues-rock artist Janis Joplin. The pull of the music world was too great to ignore and after Natalie graduated from university she returned to performing in public. At first in small clubs with her band Black Magic, but if the patrons were expecting her to follow in her father’s musical footsteps, they were to be disappointed. Natalie focused on covering R&B and rock numbers and was clear that she did not want to capitalise on her father’s style and fame.. “I had to do my own songs in my own way,” she told “Rolling Stone” in 1977.

However, as luck would have it, when performing in The Pub in Amherst there were two music producers from Chicago in the audience; Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy. They saw great potential in Natalie and brought her to Chicago to the Curtis Mayfield studios to record some sessions.

They sent the demos out to various labels and received little encouragement until Capital Records; her father’s label agreed to sign her. Natalie, Chuck and Marvin headed to Los Angeles and spent studio time polishing the demos to compile Natalie Cole’s debut album Inseparable.

The album achieved gold status and charted at No 18 in the US Charts, No 1 in the US R&B, in the Top Ten of the Billboard Pop Album Chart and No 31 in Australia. Apart from one song of the ten tracks, they were all written by Chuck Jackson and Marvin Clancy. As well as the title track Inseparable, Natalie Cole also released This Will Be as a single and both reached No. 1 on the R&B chart. She also won ‘Best New Artist’ at the Grammy Awards.

Here is a life performance of It Will Be from 1975 uploaded by jondbee56

There were some references to Natalie’s similarity to Aretha Franklin’s style and performance that did neither performer justice and there was some talk of some rivalry between the two singers over the years. Certainly there would prove to be more than enough room in the charts for both singers in the 1970s.

In her personal life Natalie was also moving forward and in 1976 shortly after the release of Inseparable, she married her producer Marvin Yancy. They settled into their life together and as Marvin they welcomed a son, Robert Adam ‘Robbie’ Yancy, in 1977.

Natalie’s career was taking off and her second album Natalie went to gold and reached No 13 in the Billboard Top Albums chart and No 3 in the Top Soul Album charts. Two tracks stand out on the album and proved very popular. Sophisticated Lady and the more jazz themed Mr. Melody. Here is Sophisticated Lady written by Chuck Jackson, Marvin Yancy and Natalie Cole. Uploaded by rene cañez

This was followed up with Natalie’s third album Unpredictable which was her first to reach Platinum status. It was No. 8 in the Billboard top albums and No. 1 top soul albums. Two tracks were released in 1977 from the album, I’ve Got Love On My Mind which reached No1 in R&B chart, and Party Lights which also did well. The last track on the album became hugely popular at Natalie’s live concerts with her fans. Here is I’m Catching Hell uploaded by IloveArethaFranklin

In 1977 the label released Natalie’s fourth album and second to go Platinum. Thankful included the track Our Love which was to become another signature hit for the singer and Natalie Cole was the first female artist to have two platinum albums in one year. With her star rising in the industry it was not long before television beckoned and that year Natalie presented her own TV special showcasing other artists such as Earth, Wind and Fire. She also performed on other music shows including Sinatra and Friends.

In 1978 she released her first live album, Natalie Live which included the most popular tracks from previous albums that delighted her concert audiences in addition to new material such as Something’s Got An Hold On Me and the Lennon and McCartney hit Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds which was released as a single. The album reached gold status and did well reaching No 9 in the R&B chart.

Natalie finished off the decade with two more studio albums in 1979, I Love You So and We’re The Best Of Friends, a duet album with Peabo Bryson. Both did reasonably well in the charts and reached gold status and the two singles released from the latter album with Peabo Bryson, also charted at No 8 and 16 in the R&B ratings. Here is What You Won’t Do For Love uploaded by TT V-rus 1138

It had been an extraordinary decade for Natalie Cole as an artist and in 1979 she was awarded her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The path had not always been smooth and following on from some dabbling in recreational drugs whilst at college, Natalie struggled with her addiction to drugs and alcohol throughout the 70s, with some incidents that resulted in both her career and marriage spiralling out of control. Sadly by 1980 Natalie Cole was finding it very difficult to maintain a presence in the charts and next week we will cover the 80s and then the 90s when Natalie Cole began to come back from this difficult and destructive period in her life.

To end today’s post here is Natalie Cole with Don’t Mention My Heartache uploaded by
car2929

Buy Natalie Cole Music – .Amazon

About William Price King

Price King Eric Sempe

William Price King is an American jazz singer, musician and composer. Originally he studied classical music and opera but over the years his style has evolved to what many refer to as the ‘sweet point’ where music and voice come together so beautifully.
His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Torme. His jazz album, ‘Home,’ is a collection of contemporary songs and whilst clearly a homage to their wonderful legacy it brings a new and refreshing complexity to the vocals that is entrancing.

His latest album Eric Sempe and William Price King is now available to download. The repertory includes standards such as “Bye Bye Blackbird” (a jazz classic), Sting’s “Englishman in New York,” Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and other well-known jazz, pop, and rock classics.

William and Eric Sempe have also brought their own magic to the album with original tracks such as Keep on Dreaming and Red Snow with collaboration with Jeanne King
Download the new album. http://cdbaby.com/cd/williampriceking

William is currently in France where he performs in popular Jazz Venues in Nice and surrounding area.

You can find the other artists in the previous series here:

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/william-price-king/

We hope you have enjoyed the series and please let us know as well as share the post with your networks. Please join us next week for part two of the Natalie Cole Story.

Thanks for dropping by.. Sally