Le présent billet a été rédigé par Jonathan Goldberg, que je remercie. La traduction en français suivra.
If you’re less than 50 years of age, you may not be familiar with the music of Nat “King” Cole, or even have heard of him. Cole died in 1965. National Public Radio is currently featuring him in a series of 50 great singers.
Cole, an accomplished piano player, bridged the gap between jazz and popular vocal music; between the singing eras of Bing Crosby and that of Elvis Presley; and between black and white performers of the 1940s and 1950s. He sold more discs than Frank Sinatra. He was the first black to have his own TV show. He broke with the conventional images of black performers in the USA.
His voice has been described as liquid and soothing. One of his unforgettable songs was Unforgettable, in which, as in all his renditions, his diction is impeccable.
Below are some videoclips of his song LOVE, in English and French versions (the latter entitled Je Ne Repartirai Pas).
The French is sung with a strong American accent.
Love was also the theme of this song:
He also sang Darling Je Vous Aime Beaucoup, in which English and French are intermingled.
Another famous black singer of the same era was Sammy Davis. Unfortunately both were heavy smokers and they often smoked while singing. Cole died at the age of 46, Davis at the age of 65. They impersonate each other on:
Nat’s daughter, Natalie, like her father a resident of Los Angeles, followed a singing career but never attained her father’s heights of success or distinction, although she did win nine Grammy Awards. It is interesting to listen to hear her rendition of Je Vous Aime Beaucoup.
Many years after Nat Cole’s death, Natalie created a montage of his voice and hers, in the song he had made famous – Unforgettable.
It is a fitting tribute to the King.
Another black singer known for her silky, sexy voice is Eartha Kitt.
Her French accent was much superior to his, as is clear from the following video clips:
Here is a humorous clip featuring Nat Cole and Eartha Kitt: