The Nat King Cole Trio

Profile:
In 1937, Nat King Cole arrived in Los Angeles where he formed the original lineup of the Nat King Cole Trio. The trio consisted of Nat on piano, Oscar Moore on guitar, and Wesley Prince on double bass - the absence of a drummer making the combo unique among the swing/jazz outifts of that time. The trio played in Los Angeles throughout the late 1930s and recorded many radio transcriptions.

In 1939, the Cole Trio was receiving enough attention to embark on its first tour of the East Coast and the Midwest - in New York, Cole, Moore and Prince backed singer Billie Holiday on one of her Manhattan gigs. In 1940, the Cole Trio made its first commercially available recording of Sweet Lorraine, which featured Cole on lead vocals and became the group's first hit as well as the group's theme on radio.

The outbreak of World War II lead to several line-up changes: Prince, who was drafted into the U.S. military, being temporarily replaced by Red Callender, and later by Johnny Miller who stayed with the group until 1948 (when he was replaced by Joe Comfort). The original guitarist, Oscar Moore, left in 1947 and was replaced by Irving Ashby. During its 1943-1949 period, the Cole Trio had its share of major hits, which were not only commercially successful, but also extremely influential.

By the end of the '40s, Nat King Cole (in accordance with Capitol Records' marketing strategy) gradually phased out his part as improvising jazz singer/pianist with the King Cole Trio, focussing on his new career as jazz-influenced pop singer that he pursued through the '50s and early '60s.

Original line-up (1937-1942):
Nat King Cole: piano
Oscar Moore: guitar
Wesley Prince: bass

"Capitol-years" line-up (1943-1947):
Nat King Cole: piano
Oscar Moore: guitar
Johnny Miller: bass
Sites:
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Albums

A-8, BD 8 The Nat King Cole Trio - The King Cole Trio album art The King Cole Trio* The King Cole Trio (Album) Capitol Records, Capitol Records A-8, BD 8 US 1944 Sell This Version
BD-29 The Nat King Cole Trio - The King Cole Trio Vol. 2 album art The King Cole Trio* The King Cole Trio Vol. 2 (Album, Comp) Capitol Records BD-29 US 1946 Sell This Version
CC-59 The Nat King Cole Trio - Volume 3 album art King Cole Trio* Volume 3 (Album, EP) Capitol Records CC-59 US 1947 Sell This Version
DC-89 The Nat King Cole Trio - King Cole For Kids album art The King Cole Trio* King Cole For Kids (Album) Capitol Records DC-89 US 1948 Sell This Version
CC 139, CC-139 The Nat King Cole Trio - King Cole And His Trio, Vol. 4 album art King Cole Trio* King Cole And His Trio, Vol. 4 (Album, Comp, EP) Capitol Records, Capitol Records CC 139, CC-139 US 1949 Sell This Version
H-213, H213 The Nat King Cole Trio - Harvest Of Hits album art Nat King Cole And His Trio* Harvest Of Hits (Album, EP, Comp) Capitol Records, Capitol Records H-213, H213 Canada 1950 Sell This Version
LCT.6003 The Nat King Cole Trio - 10th Anniversary Album album art The Nat King Cole Trio 10th Anniversary Album (Album, EP) Capitol Records LCT.6003 UK 1954 Sell This Version
LAT 8123 The Nat King Cole Trio - In The Beginning album art Nat 'King' Cole Trio* In The Beginning (Album, Comp) Ace Of Hearts, Ace Of Hearts LAT 8123 UK 1956 Sell This Version
W-782, 2LP - 3005 The Nat King Cole Trio - After Midnight album art Nat 'King' Cole And His Trio* After Midnight (Album, EP) Capitol Records, Capitol Records W-782, 2LP - 3005 US 1956 Sell This Version
T-2311 The Nat King Cole Trio - Original Vocal And Instrumental Recordings Of The Easy Listenin' Favorites album art The Nat King Cole Trio Original Vocal And Instrumental Recordings Of The Easy Listenin' Favorites (Album) Capitol Records T-2311 US 1965 Sell This Version
2 C 244 80.804 The Nat King Cole Trio - Trio Days album art King Cole Trio* Trio Days(Cass) Capitol Records 2 C 244 80.804 France 1973 Sell This Version
M-14.048 The Nat King Cole Trio - Canta Nat "King" Cole album art The Nat "King" Cole Trio* Canta Nat "King" Cole(LP, Album) MCA Coral M-14.048 Spain 1973 Sell This Version
C 03854 The Nat King Cole Trio - The King Cole Trio album art The Nat King Cole Trio The King Cole Trio (Album) World Record Club, World Record Club C 03854 Australia 1977 Sell This Version
GOJ-1013 The Nat King Cole Trio - The Forgotten Years album art King Cole Trio* The Forgotten Years (Album) Giants Of Jazz Records GOJ-1013 US 1979 Sell This Version
3026 The Nat King Cole Trio - In The Cool Of The Evening album art The Nat King Cole Trio In The Cool Of The Evening (Album) Official (3) 3026 Denmark 1989 Sell This Version
EJLP 08 The Nat King Cole Trio - The Nat 'King' Cole Trio album art The Nat King Cole Trio The Nat 'King' Cole Trio(LP) Echo Jazz EJLP 08 UK 1989 Sell This Version
DCD-749 The Nat King Cole Trio - Selection of Nat King Cole Trio album art The Nat King Cole Trio Selection of Nat King Cole Trio(2xCD, Dlx) Gold Sound DCD-749 Europe 1996 Sell This Version
5160516 The Nat King Cole Trio - The Best Of The Nat King Cole Trio, Volume 2 album art The Nat King Cole Trio The Best Of The Nat King Cole Trio, Volume 2(CD) Jazz Heritage Society 5160516 US 1996 Sell This Version
CD 53147 The Nat King Cole Trio - Nat King Cole Trio 1945-1946 album art Nat King Cole Trio* With Oscar Moore & Johnny Miller (2) Nat King Cole Trio* With Oscar Moore & Johnny Miller (2) - Nat King Cole Trio 1945-1946(CD, Album) Giants Of Jazz CD 53147 1997 Sell This Version
none The Nat King Cole Trio - A Musical Contribution By America's Best For Our Armed Forces Overseas album art The Nat King Cole Trio A Musical Contribution By America's Best For Our Armed Forces Overseas(CD, Album, Mono, RM) Collectors' Choice Music none US 1997 Sell This Version
CD 53154 Nat King Cole Trio* With Oscar Moore, Johnny Miller (2) Nat King Cole Trio* With Oscar Moore, Johnny Miller (2) - Nat King Cole Trio 1947(CD) Giants Of Jazz CD 53154 Italy 1997 Sell This Version
EXL 2456 The Nat King Cole Trio - Memories Of Nat King Cole album art The Original Nat King Cole Trio* Memories Of Nat King Cole (Album) Excelsior EXL 2456 US 1998 Sell This Version
DRCD11162 The Nat King Cole Trio - Live At The Circle Room album art Nat King Cole Trio* Live At The Circle Room (Album) Capitol Jazz DRCD11162 Spain 1999 Sell This Version
8.120512 The Nat King Cole Trio - The King Cole Trio Transcriptions Vol. 1 1938 album art Nat King Cole, The King Cole Trio* Nat King Cole, The King Cole Trio* - The King Cole Trio Transcriptions Vol. 1 1938 Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120512 Europe 2000 Sell This Version
CD 53358 The Nat King Cole Trio - Nat King Cole Trio with Jack Costanzo album art Nat King Cole Trio* with Jack Costanzo Nat King Cole Trio* with Jack Costanzo - Nat King Cole Trio with Jack Costanzo(CD, Album) Giants Of Jazz CD 53358 Italy 2001 Sell This Version