In part one of the Natalie Cole story we discovered more about her childhood and early musical influences which of course included both her father, Nat King Cole and her mother, Maria Cole, who was also a talented jazz singer. William Price King picks up the story….
Natalie was determined to follow her own musical path and had a meteoric rise to fame in the 70’s but unfortunately her health and her career were badly affected by her addiction to drugs. Following the release of her album in 1980, Don’t Look Back it became far more difficult to hide the impact her lifestyle was having on her music.
Finally in 1983, after the release of her album I’m Ready, Natalie spent several months in a rehab centre following which she signed with a new label, Modern Records and released Dangerous in 1985; heralding her return to the music charts and a resurgence in her career. Here is Natalie with a live version of the title track. Uploaded by 70s80sVidz
The album had moderate success charting at 140 on the Billboard 200 and reaching No. 48 on the R&B Albums Chart.
With this success under her belt, Natalie moved to EMI-Manhattan Records and released the album Everlasting. Both the albums and the singles released subsequently, did much better in the charts. The album made gold status in the US and reached No 42 on the Billboard 200 and No 8 on the R&B Albums. It also did well in the UK charts at No 62.
The tracks included a crossover cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Pink Cadillac and singles hit with I Live For Your Love. Uploaded by Luckysmusic.
In 1989 came the next album which reflected Natalie’s return to her career and was aptly named Good to be Back. The album not only did well in the US charts, but also achieved acclaim internationally getting to No. 10 and Gold status in the UK Chart. Miss You Like Crazy was released as a single and reached No7 in the US charts and No. 2 in the UK.
In between those the two albums, Natalie released some singles that had also done well in the charts including Miss You and the re-release of Jump Start. There were also duets with Freddie Jackson with I Do and Over You with Ray Parker Jnr. Uploaded by Kirby Drice.
1991 was to prove to be an extraordinary year for Natalie Cole. Now firmly back in sync with both the music industry and her personal life, it was time to bring her style and interpretation to a project that she had once said would never happen. The album Unforgettable; With Love featured covers of her father’s hits, taking 40 year old songs with Natalie adding her own vocal arrangements, and being accompanied by her uncle Ike Cole on the piano.
This debut album with her new label Electra, contained all the classic tracks inlcuding The Very Thought of You, Paper Moon, Straighten Up And Fly Right, Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup and Our Love Is Here To Stay.
At the same time, Natalie’s label released the interactive duet with her father that was to wow audiences around the world. A fusion of technological magic and stunning voices across the decades splicing the talent of father and daughter together beautifully. The single Unforgettable reached No. 14 on the Billboard Top 100 and No. 10 on the R&B charts going gold.
The album reached No. 1 for five weeks selling over 14 million copies and won six Grammy Awards including Album of the Year and Record of the Year. This was not without some controversy as one of the Grammy Awards was for Song of the Year. Critics felt that a 40 year old song should not be included in the category and the following year the rules changed for inclusion in this award.
As well as confirming Natalie’s position in the music industry, it also reminded the fans, buying public and the record company executives that great music does not go out of style and the album and the single received a lot of airtime.
Natalie Cole said this of its remarkable success.
“It’s absolutely shocking to see it between Van Halen and Skid Row on the charts, totally out of its element. It should be encouraging to record companies and my contemporaries.”
Here is the incredible duet between father and daughter that made music history. Uploaded by Car2929
As Natalie reclaimed her career in the charts and also with her fans, she cemented her presence in the industry with performances in high profile concerts such as the 1988 Mandela 70th Birthday Tribute. She dueted with jazz vocalist Al Jarreau on the song Mr. President on HBO’s Comic Relief special alongside Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg. She had previously collaborated with Johnny Mathis on one of her specials in the 80s and in 1992 he invited her to be part of his television tribute to her father for the BBC in the UK. It delighted audiences and led to the release of an album A Tribute to Nat Cole.
Following the success of Unforgettable: With Love, PBS broadcast a special based on the album which received Emmy Nominations for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program and Natalie also received the nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance, losing to Bette Midler. In 1993 Natalie was also invited to perform at the 65th Academy Awards performing two of the hits sung by Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard, Run to You and I have Nothing.
This was followed by Natalie Cole’s next album Take A Look featuring jazz standards that included her recording of the title track her idol Aretha Franklin had recorded 30 years previously. This album went gold as did the Christmas album Holly & Ivy that ended 1994.
Her album Stardust that was released in 1996 delighted her fans with American standards including another duet with her father on a modern version of When I Fall In Love. It went platinum and Natalie Cole wan another Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. Uploaded by Haddu4all1
Buy Natalie Cole Music: http://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Cole/e/B000APXL9M
Next time the rest of the 1990s the new millennium
About 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.
You can find the other artists in the previous series here:
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 three of the Natalie Cole Story.
Thanks for dropping by.. Sally