50 tunes for 50 years: Nat King Cole

Today I’m feeling a little under the weather. Lurgy incoming. So it seems only right that I head towards the warmth of Nat King Cole. The crackling 33 1⁄3 rpm of Love Is The Thing from my early childhood that brought charm and cosiness to those long evenings spent on my Nan’s black leatherette sofa as I battled the scratch and static on my tight covered, slip wrapped legs caused by its highly flammable yellow cushions. (Less must-have Danish designer style, more MFI Seventies nightmare). Nat King Cole is those nights spent with Nan, snacks and snooker, diabetic minestrone soup as gravy on your fish and chips for tea (yep you heard it here first), “wait-and-see” pudding a.k.a. pineapple upside-down cake (or Diana Ross cake as its now forever known) for afters, knitting needles clacking and piny proudly worn as we waved away the smoke from her endless John Players, settling in for an evening of dodgy K-Tel collections, Bing Crosby and Mr Cole. All whilst the TV snooker commentary gently waffled away in the background, black and white of course.

And so when I turn my thoughts to those Friday nights with Lucy “coooooooo-eeee!” Prevost, I’ll always hunt our Nat King Cole out and thank her for a musical moment that ensured I forever appreciated the man from Alabama. The man who brought sartorial elegance to the decade that style forgot and whose sofa’s scarred a generation. The forever unforgettable Nat King Cole.

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