Nat ‘King’ Cole’s 40 Golden Greats celebrates one of the world’s most distinctive voices. From his humble beginnings as a jazz pianist to chart topping success his music is still the soundtrack of our lives.
Gary Williams has paid tribute to Nat Cole at Birdland Tokyo and in Australia with the Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras. UK dates include Ronnie Scott’s, the Newbury Spring Festival and concert performances with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the CBSO, the Halle and the Northern Sinfonia. The show sold out a five night run at London’s Crazy Coqs.
As he explained, “There are so many wonderful songs in Nat Cole’s repertoire it’s hard to know what to leave out. With the help of a few medleys we managed to squeeze 40 of the best into one show. There are lesser known gems like Azure Te, The End Of A Love Affair and Lush Life alongside favourites like Let There Be Love, Stay As Sweet As You Are, Route 66, When I Fall In Love, Orange Coloured Sky and Straighten Up And Fly Right.”
You can hear songs from the show recorded live with Gary and the Ronnie Scott’s house band on “Let There Be Love – A Celebration of Nat ‘King’ Cole”. Released in the UK and Japan, sleeve notes were provided by Oscar winning writer Don Black who said, “In a world of Pop Idol mediocrity Gary Williams shines like a dazzling beacon”. Cabaret legend Michael Feinstein agrees, “I can count the number of great contemporary singers of pop standards on one hand. Gary Williams is indeed part of that pantheon.”
The show covers 30 years of Nat ‘King’ Cole’s career and his work with arrangers Billy May, George Shearing, Gordon Jenkins and Nelson Riddle. Songs include hits from his Spanish album “Cole Español”, his early jazz work on “After Midnight” and his 1964 nod to Broadway “Nat King Cole Sings My Fair Lady”. Here are the 40 songs in the show:
Almost Like Being In Love • Azure Te • Beautiful Friendship • Brazilian Love Song • Day In, Day Out • End of A Love Affair • For All We Know • I Love You For Sentimental Reasons • Just A Little Street • Just One of Those Things • L.O.V.E. • Let There Be Love • Let’s Face the Music • Let’s Fall In Love • Lights Out • Love Is Here To Stay • Lover Come Back To Me • Lush Life • Mona Lisa • Nature Boy • Orange Coloured Sky • Papa Loves Mambo • Paper Moon • Perfidia • Pick Yourself Up • Ramblin’ Rose • Route 66 • Smile • Somewhere Along The Way • Stay As Sweet As You Are • Straighten Up And Fly Right • Sweet Lorraine • That Sunday, That Summer • The Best Thing for You • The Song Is Ended • This Can’t Be Love • Thou Swell • Too Young • Unforgettable • Walking My Baby and When I Fall In Love.