Perhaps my favorite kind of music next to film scores are the tunes from the Great American Songbook by yesterday’s crooners like Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Johnny Mercer, Mel Tormé, and especially Nat King Cole. Cole’s smokey smooth tones infused with a bit of jazz are at once nostalgic, comforting, and yeah, I’ll say it – romantic. His is the voice I imagine would come from my mouth should the opportunity to serenade a young lady comes along.
Lest I actually open my mouth and frighten you all away with the true nature of my voice, perhaps for now just a sketch of the great Nat King Cole is in order…
It is hard to believe that thirteen years ago the great animator and designer Marc Davis (one of Walt Disney’s famed Nine Old Men) passed away. I was part of a group from Disney that went over to his home to help his wife archivally store the art in Marc’s studio. Each flat file unearthed a new treasure trove of drawings that no one but Marc probably had ever seen. One drawer in particular made an impression on me. As each piece of paper was lifted, there was sketch after sketch Marc had drawn in person of jazz musicians during the heyday of the Los Angeles jazz scene. Included were drawings he created of the great Nat King Cole during live performances! Oh to have been a fly on THAT wall!
Speaking of performances, here’s a nifty introduction to that great King Cole voice! Enjoy!