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|Nat King Cole|
Nat King Cole - Greatest Country Hits
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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Great NKC Country Sampler
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Many people may look back at Nat King Cole's recordings during the 1960s as predominantly country-flavored; however, this is far from the truth. A master he was at setting different musical styles during his tenure with Capitol Records from 1943 to 1964: jazz, lush ballads, swingin' big band, show tunes, sacred, foreign language, and, of course, country. It's as though he wanted to touch all the bases without compromising consistent quality. Besides working with the best musicians in the business, Nat chose his musical directors carefully, setting particular moods for each of his concept albums. Nelson Riddle ("Unforgettable"), Billy May and Gordon Jenkins ("When I Fall in Love") [all of whom had the distinction of also working with the great Frank Sinatra] would step up to the plate on several occasions to throw different styles his away, and each time he would catch the tune and make it all his own. In 1962 Nat brought in the capable talents of Belford Hendricks to record the first of two country albums. RAMBLIN' ROSE (1962) and DEAR LONELY HEARTS (1963) would prove to be hits with fans and critics alike. Included in this compact disc are selections from both albums, as well as additional country-flavored tracks: "Looking Back", arranged/conducted by Dave Cavanaugh; "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer", arranged/conducted by Ralph Carmichael; and "Oh, Mary Don't You Weep", arranged/conducted by Gordon Jenkins. Trust me, once you listen to this CD, you will want to purchase RAMBLIN' ROSE and DEAR LONELY HEARTS, both of which are currently available on CD from Amazon.com. I'm not much of a country music fan, but this CD had me singing along, tapping my foot and snapping my fingers as the velvet voice himself had me captivated. A highly-recommended, basic sampler of Nat King Cole's country recordings."