‘Nat King Cole: The Greatest American Hitmaker’ Webinar
While Nat King Cole (1919-1965) only lived a brief 45 years, he managed to encapsulate no less than three complete careers — a popular singer of his generation (who, single-for-single, hit-for-hit, outsold even his great friend, Frank Sinatra), one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time, and something he never anticipated: a role model for African American achievement who was embraced by three US Presidents and European royalty. This is story of one of the greatest entertainers of all time, who in the arch of his career, had not only changed the music industry, but also the very meaning of what it meant to be black in America.
Join New York Adventure Club as we explore the incredible music and career of Nat King Cole throughout his brief, but spectacular life.
Led by Will Friedwald, columnist for the Wall Street Journal and author of the new biography Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole, our virtual showcase of the professional and personal life of Nat King Cole — the greatest singer of all time — will include:
- A look at his early years in Alabama, and his early musical experiences such as playing keyboard in his father’s baptist church on the South Side of Chicago
- His triumph as the first African-American superstar, and the first black singer to cross over and reach the larger white pop audiences
- Stories surrounding his personal life, from marriages and family life, to his loves and his children — such as Natalie Cole, the daughter who followed in his footsteps to pop music superstardom
- His struggles with racism, including when a would-be-assassin shot a bullet into his home, and when an offshoot group of the Ku-Klux-Klan attacked him on stage in the middle of a concert
- Rare videos and audio clips featuring his unforgettable songs and big hits, from Straighten Up and Fly Right and Sweet Lorraine, to Mona Lisa and Nature Boy, to Unforgettable and Smile
- The final years of his tragically short life, which ended when he died of lung cancer at the age of 45 — the result of a lifetime’s addiction to cigarettes and tobacco products
Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Will — any and all questions about Tony Bennett are welcomed and encouraged!
Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!
See you there, virtually! $10.
*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar
**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.
***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week
Will Friedwald is a featured arts writer for The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair, and the award-winning author of ten books on music and popular culture, including the new Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole, as well as A Biographical Guide To The Great Jazz And Pop Singers, Sinatra: The Song Is You, Stardust Melodies, Tony Bennett: The Good Life, Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies, and Jazz Singing. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.Buy tickets/get more info now