Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark

This is an excellent documentary about another musician I wanted to know more about.

The main thing I learned from this was that Nat King Cole was a thoroughly good person who treated everyone with respect and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. He was a great jazz pianist and of course an excellent singer. According to one talking head he never made a mistake during recording, and would always sing the complete song in one take without stopping.

Another thing I learned was that he was good buddies with Frank Sinatra, and Frank was strongly against segregation. In Las Vegas Nat could not stay in the casino hotels because they were whites-only in the bad old days, even though he would be on stage singing at them. So he had to stay at dingy hotels outside of town, and Frankie would stay there too when touring with Nat.

There were plenty of interviews with people around him including his wife (she died in 2012, two years before this documentary was released), his daughter Natalie Cole (I looked her up online and was surprised that she passed away in 2015 from cancer at 65 years old), his other daughters, manager, and many others. There were also interviews with Bruce Forsyth (he passed away just two days ago) who was a huge Nat fan, and sang with him on stage when Nat went to England in the 1960’s.

Nat died way too early at only 45 years old from cancer. He smoked a lot.

This is recommended watching, even if you are not interested in his music.

Date watched: August 19th
Score: 9/10
Film count 2017: 92

One thought on “Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark

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