My Mom’s Birthday — March 22, 1908

Thanks to catman916 for the You Tube

That was Somewhere Along The Way by Nat King Cole. The song was written by “Kurt Adams” (Jimmy Van Husen) and lyric by Sammy Gallop in 1952. It was probably a Nelson Riddle arrangement and production for Capitol Records.  Throughout the 1950’s, for Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, the arrangers and conductors were big band alumni such as Billy May, Gordon Jenkins, and Nelson Riddle (Glenn Miller Orchestra) and Axel Stordahl (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.)

I got my love of music from my Mother and as I got older, it was what we shared.  She loved the music of the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. She loved the Swing Era and what might be called the 1950’s crooner era. Her favorites were Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and Mel Tormé.

Later in life, I discovered a different, earlier Nat King Cole who played in a trio where he played a very fine piano as well as singing the lyric. His piano and trio were influential on a number of musicians. Art Tatum listened to his records and adopted the idea of a piano, guitar, and bass. In fact, he picked up Nat Cole’s sidemen when Cole decided to go strictly vocal. Mose Allison said that the Nat King Cole Trio was a big influence on him and I hear that in his playing as well. Here’s Nat King Cole’s  piano trio version of If I Should Lose You:

Thanks to Universal Music for the You Tube

Chuck Cecil who interviewed Nat King Cole and nearly everyone else from that era once asked Nat King Cole if he had any regrets about dropping the trio and going solo. Cole told him it was the best thing he had done in his life. The Jazz fans were deeply disappointed but the Cole family and their bank accounts were very happy. For him, it was the music BUSINESS.

Anyway, my mother loved those lush Nelson Riddle produced Nat King Cole records.  She was not alone; the Capitol Records building in Hollywood, California, in the picture below was called by music business insiders The House That Nat King Cole Built.  Capitol Records sold tons of those lush Nelson Riddle arrangements and productions built around Nat King Cole’s wonderful  voice.  My Mom would have been 109 years old today. I came along late during the second half of her life.




About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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