February 15th -- RIP Nathaniel Adams "King" Cole
Unfortunately, a great many people born after I crossed the 3rd grade (1987, btw) will think of Dave Chappelle when they think of Nat "King" Cole, and this is why...
fortunately, however, a great many of us grew up in a time where a head jammed up one's ass was the exception, instead of the expectation...
that said, we remember Nat for his smooth Baritone and for siring a talented daughter as well.
On this day in 1965, at the age of 45, we lost one of our legends.
Given the time that he NATURALLY had to make his star, we can thank him for the doors he opened, and the shit that he went through to open them, be they segregation and racism that was allowed to be WAAAAY more out front (including a kidnapping plot and cross-burning, among other things) than now.
An accomplished pianist who had to lean on his looks and charming voice, 2011'ers might call him a "sellout," but damned if I won't call him a "trailblazer."
He lived under the belief that his cigarettes made his voice what it was, so he smoked 3 packs of menthols a day. As it were, and perhaps ironically, lung cancer was ultimately what called him to the upper room en route to the hospital about one month before his 46th birthday.
A great many thanks are in order for the doors that Nat opened for people to even be allowed to perform nowadays, whether or not they respect or even act upon that. He will be forever missed.