Unforgettable Nat 'King' Cole with Dorian Mode
THE Nat 'King' Cole tribute show by Dorian Mode will bring to Lismore the best of Nathaniel Adams Coles' artistic legacy.
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, performing in big band and jazz genres, and was a major force in popular music for three decades.
We asked Mode what his top three Nat King Cole songs were and why and here are his answers:
- Sweet Lorraine (1944)
"What's fascinating is Sweet Lorraine was the first song Nat 'King' Cole ever sang. He was simply a pianist for many years. But one day he was working in a place called The Sewanee Inn with his trio, when a drunken customer came up to him at the piano and asked: 'Can you sing me a song?' Nat replied 'I don't sing. I just play the piano'. The customer said: 'Well if you don't sing this song I'll have you fired'. Nat sang Sweet Lorraine to placate the customer. The boss was so thrilled with his pianist's silky voice he placed a toy crown on him - and dubbed him Nat 'King' Cole."
- Straighten Up and Fly Right
"I started playing this song when my singing teacher said I needed lighter, novelty songs in my set - like Straighten Up or Orange Coloured Sky to save my voice from the fatigue of singing big rangy numbers. I like performing it in concert as the band sings the chorus and the audience finds that aspect of the show fun."
- Route 66 (1944)
"It's a simple Blues and easy to play - although Nat has some tricky fills and intros and outros I've had to learn. I like Route 66 because it's a song about a road. There's not too many songs about a road. This is one of the first songs I ever performed as a jazz singer but there's a lot of place names to remember. Sometimes, if I forget, I use Australian place names like Budgewoi and Woy Woy, it always gets a laugh."
At the Star Court Theatre in Lismore on Thursday, October 27.