Driving the King by Ravi HowardA daring and brilliant new novel that explores race and class in 1950s America, witnessed through the experiences of Nat King Cole and his driver, Nat Weary
“Howard is a talent to watch.” —Washington Post Book World
The war is over, the soldiers are returning, and Nat King Cole is back in his hometown of Montgomery, Alabama, for a rare performance. His childhood friend, Nat Weary, plans to propose to his sweetheart, and the singer will honor their moment with a special song. But while the world has changed, segregated Jim Crow Montgomery remains the same. When a white man attacks Cole with a pipe, Weary leaps from the audience to defend him—an act that will lead to a 10-year prison sentence.
But the singer will not forget his friend and the sacrifice he made. Six months before Weary is released, he receives a remarkable offer: will he be Nat King Cole’s driver and bodyguard in L.A.. It is the promise of a new life removed from the terror, violence, and degradation of Jim Crow Alabama.
Weary discovers that, while Los Angeles is far different from the deep South, it a place of discrimination, mistrust, and intolerance where a black man—even one as talented and popular as Nat King Cole—is not wholly welcome.
An indelible portrait of prejudice and promise, friendship and loyalty, Driving the King is a daring look at race and class in pre-Civil Rights America, played out in the lives of two remarkable men.
Nat King Cole - Documentary (2006)
Nat King Cole
He owes most of his popular musical fame to his soft baritone voice, which he used to perform in big band and jazz genres. In , Cole became the first African-American performer to host a variety television series, and for many white families, he was the first black man welcomed into their living rooms each night. He has maintained worldwide popularity since his death in Known for his smooth and well-articulated vocal style, Nat King Cole actually started out as a piano man. He first learned to play around the age of four with help from his mother, a church choir director. The son of a Baptist pastor, Cole may have started out playing religious music.
Mar 17, At the age of four, Cole's family moved to Chicago where jazz and gospel were evolving. Also, he started learning the piano by ear from his mother. At 12, Cole played the organ, sang in his father's church choir and studied classical piano. Jan 2,
The American musician Nat "King" Cole was beloved by millions as a singer of popular songs, but his specialty was piano in the tradition of "cool" jazz. Cole would drop the "s" from his name early in his career. Cole's father moved the family to Chicago, Illinois, in By the time he reached the age of twelve, Cole was playing the organ and singing in the choir of his father's church under his mother's choir direction. Cole took piano lessons in order to learn how to read music.
He recorded over one hundred songs that became hits on the pop charts. His trio was the model for small jazz ensembles that followed. Cole also acted in films and on television and performed on Broadway. He was the first African American man to host an American television series. Cole learned to play the organ from his mother, Perlina Coles, the church organist. We Have No Bananas " at the age of four. When he was fifteen, Cole dropped out of high school to pursue a music career.