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Something Wonderful: “Unforgettable” The Cole Duet

The backstory:

In 1991, after Elvis Presley’s musical director Joe Guercio had the idea, Cole’s original 1951 recording of the song was edited and remixed to create a duet with his daughter, Natalie, which won three awards at the Grammy Awards of 1992: Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.

Nat Cole’s original recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.

Natalie Maria Cole (February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015) was an American singer, songwriter, and performer. The daughter of Nat King Cole, Natalie rose to musical success in the mid–1970s as an R&B artist with the hits “This Will Be”, “Inseparable”, and “Our Love”. After a period of failing sales and performances due to a heavy drug addiction, Cole re-emerged as a pop artist with the 1987 album Everlasting and her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac”. In the 1990s, she re-recorded standards by her father, resulting in her biggest success, Unforgettable… with Love, which sold over seven million copies and also won Cole numerous Grammy Awards. She sold over 30 million records worldwide.

Nathaniel Adams Coles (March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965), known professionally as Nat King Cole, was an American singer who first came to prominence as a leading jazz pianist. He was widely noted for his soft, baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres and which he used to become a major force in popular music for three decades, producing many hit songs.

Cole was one of the first African Americans to host a national television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show, and has maintained worldwide popularity since his death from lung cancer in February 1965.

Unforgettable, that’s what you are
Unforgettable, though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more
Unforgettable in every way
And forevermore (and forevermore)
That’s how you’ll stay (that’s how you’ll stay)
That’s why darling, it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

[Musical interlude]

No, never before has someone been more
Ooh unforgettable (unforgettable)
In every way (in every way)
And forevermore (and forevermore)
That’s how you’ll stay (that’s how you’ll stay)
That’s why darling it’s incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Montefrío October 20, 2019, 9:21 AM

    Simply wonderful and… unforgettable, father and daughter both.

  • bob sykes October 20, 2019, 1:09 PM

    Once upon a time, blacks were the source of much good music—blues, gospel, rhythm and blues, jazz, Motown—and many fine singers, like the Coles, Ella, Lena Horne… Now they have devolved to rap.

    How did this happen? What deranged whole generations? There was a theory that the source and basis of art is suffering, that art is a way to deal with pain. Did the civil rights movement and the welfare state end black suffering? Are blacks now free to be themselves, free of want, free of oppression?

  • Rob De Witt October 20, 2019, 8:21 PM

    You posted this same question at Daily Timewaster, so I’ll post the same answer:

    Glad you asked.

    What happened is that “rock and roll” succeeded in its project of Revering the Holy Primitive, starting with Elvis Presley, promoted as “The white boy who sings like a Negro.” You can be sure they didn’t mean he sang like Paul Robeson (although he probably could’ve, he was a great artist in his own right.)

    What happened is that Elvis, and all rock “music” since, has been marketed like soap as “anti-establishment” and “courageous” for “standing up to The Man.” This was in the middle ’50s; less than a decade earlier blacks had aspired to write symphonies and jazz was music for intellectuals of whatever color. Rock has encouraged generations of middle-class white kids to present themselves as ghetto trash, to my endless mystification. Glorification of ghetto trash is now the only representation of black folks to be had in popular culture.

    Believe me, I’ve known lots of older black men who reached out to this fatherless boy in an attempt to teach him how to handle himself, and how to have self-respect in a hostile world. I’m 74 now but I well remember them shaking their heads at the garbage that was taking over the music world. I’m sure they would be heartened, as I am, to see intelligent young black folks like Rhiannon Giddons reclaiming their own musical heritage.

  • Jewel October 21, 2019, 7:54 AM

    If it weren’t for my father giving us both classical and jazz I would be poor. With well-done classical music and good jazz, you never have Golden oldies. The music stays gold without ever getting old.