Nat King Cole during the peak of his Capitol Records years in the 1950s.
Nat King Cole has garnered more chart success for Capitol Records than any other artist in the label's history — more than 115 hit songs, in at least four different music genres including pop, R&B, country and adult contemporary.
With signature tunes like "Unforgettable," "Nature Boy" and "Mona Lisa," Cole's unique voice and signature piano style have become a core element of Americana.
For the king of the crooners, the new Capitol Records compilation Nat King Cole: The Singles Collection can be considered the crown jewel of his body of work.
NPR's Tavis Smiley spoke about both the public and private Cole with longtime friend and promoter Dick La Palm. Smiley also talks with Carole Cole, the eldest of the musician's five children, who now manages the Cole estate and is executive producer of the new boxed CD set.