Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Via television and video clips, rare archival photographs, and extensive performance footage, the documentary Nat "King" Cole: The Legendary Nat 'King' Cole explores the life, character, and musical legacy of one of the twentieth century's key pop vocalists (and jazz-pop crossovers). The film celebrates a man beloved by generations, and yet is bittersweet given his premature death from cancer at age 48. Legendary draws greatest attention to the racial precedents set by Cole -- his status as one of the earliest black crossover artists, his bold defiance of white stereotypes of African-Americans, his accomplishment as one of the first African-Americans to headline his own radio program, and -- incredibly, given the racial setbacks of the period -- his own television program. The documentary then segues into an exploration of Cole's musical gifts -- his virtually indefinable voice, his inborn instinct for the ivory keys, and his enduring contributions to the jazz idiom. A volume in the Jazz Memories series of video documentaries on jazz and pop vocalist legends, The Legendary Nat "King" Cole provides an enduring picture of Cole the artist versus Cole the man.
entertainer, icon, jazz, pop-music, singer