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美国最受欢迎歌手:Natalie Cole

2012-03-25 10:17[VOA] 来源: 浏览: 次 评论:


STEVE EMBER: And I’m Steve Ember with the VOA Special English program, PEOPLE IN AMERICA. Every week, we tell the story of someone important in the history of the United States. Today we will tell about Nat King Cole, one of America’s most popular singers.

(MUSIC)

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Nat King Cole was born in the southern city of Montgomery, Alabama, in Nineteen-Nineteen. His parents named him Nathaniel Adams Coles. His father was a Christian minister.

When Nathaniel was four years old, his parents moved the family north to Chicago, Illinois. Nat learned to play the piano when he was very young. His mother was the only piano teacher he ever had. He gave his first public performance when he was four. By the time he was twelve, Nat was playing piano at his father’s church.


STEVE EMBER: Nat played piano in New York City and in Los Angeles, California when he was a young man. In Nineteen Thirty-Seven, he formed a group that played jazz music. Oscar Moore played the guitar and Wesley Prince played the bass. The trio reportedly did not need a drummer because Nat’s piano playing kept the beat so well. They named the group, The King Cole Trio. At the same time, Nat also changed his name to Nat King Cole. The trio soon became very popular. Nat sang some songs, but mostly played the piano.

By the middle Nineteen-Forties, Nat King Cole was beginning to be known as a popular singer as well as a jazz piano player. He was one of the first musicians to record with the new Capitol Records.

The first song he recorded for Capitol was “Straighten Up and Fly Right.” He wrote the song. The words were based on his father’s teachings. The song became one of the biggest hits of Nineteen-Forty-Three. It sold more than five-hundred-thousand copies.

(MUSIC)

SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Nat recorded hundreds of songs. Some of the most popular include “Sweet Lorraine,” “Nature Boy,” “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” “When I Fall in Love,” and “Mona Lisa.” In Nineteen-Fifty, the American film industry gave him an award for his recording of “Mona Lisa.” That song made him famous as a singer.

(MUSIC)

STEVE EMBER: By Nineteen-Fifty Six, Nat King Cole was known internationally. He signed an agreement to appear for a lot of money at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Nat "King" Cole (center) with baseball player Roy Campanella and his wife Ruthe at New York City's Copacabana night club


Singer Natalie Cole looks at a mock stamp and plaque following the renaming of a post office for her father
Nat often performed in places that only admitted white people. Black leaders criticized him. Nat said he attempted to take legal action against those places but often failed.

Nat earned more money and moved to California. He bought a house in an area where white people lived. At that time, many white Americans did not want to live near blacks. White home owners nearby protested the purchase of a house by a black family. Nat and his family refused to leave and lived in the house without problems.

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