LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – The Grammy Museum has today (Feb. 25) announced a new exhibit entitled This Is Nat King Cole.
Serving as a retrospective of Cole’s career, his most significant professional accomplishments, and his relationship with Capitol Records, the exhibit, which opens on what would have been Cole’s 101 birthday, March 17, 2020, captures “the arc of Cole’s professional and personal life as a study of success despite adversity, and the triumph of civility, respect and talent married with political, cultural and business savvy.”
Having formed the Nat King Cole Trio in the late ’30s, Cole was signed to Capitol Records in 1943 and released his debut album, The King Cole Trio, a year later at the dawn of the LP format. The album topped Billboard‘s inaugural album chart. He went on to record nearly 700 songs for Capitol, including 150 singles that charted on Billboard‘s Pop, R&B and Country charts. That phenomenal success led to Capitol’s iconic round building on Vine Street in Hollywood to be informally known as “The House That Nat Built.” Along with his trailblazing music career, Cole is recognized for his contributions to the struggle for racial equality. This Is Nat King Cole will take a look at Cole as an essential figure in several sociopolitical advancements, including the U.S. civil rights movement.
“We are so excited that our father is being honored at the GRAMMY Museum in celebration of his centennial, and even more special that it is on his birthday. Our hearts are full knowing that after all these years his music lives on in the hearts of so many,” said Cole’s daughters Casey and Timolin.
“Nat King Cole’s legacy as an iconic, American artist is unparalleled, making him an undeniable national treasure,” added the Museum’s President Michael Sticka. “It’s an honor for the GRAMMY Museum to host this exhibit and celebrate his incredible achievements and musical legacy.”
Items featured in the exhibit include:
- Tuxedo worn by Cole during his 1960 visit with Queen Elizabeth II
- Kimono given to Cole during a 1960 visit to Japan
- Cole’s Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded posthumously in 1990
- A collection of handwritten letters to Cole’s wife, Maria, written between 1948 and 1956
- Beaded gown worn by Maria Cole at a celebration of Nat’s 25 years with Capitol Records
- A Tiffany sterling silver box from activists Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Sargent Shriver gifted to Cole and engraved “Nat King Cole, The Best Friend A Song Ever Had”
To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, Timolin and Casey Cole will be onsite to discuss the stories behind the exhibit with moderator Scott Goldman at the Museum’s Clive Davis Theater. This Is Nat King Cole will run through summer 2020. Tickets to the GRAMMY Museum are available for sale at www.grammymuseum.org.