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Nat “King” Cole Reissue Series Due from Collector’s Choice

Collectors’ Choice Music will reissue nearly all of Nat “King” Cole’s Capitol Records album catalog on CD, some for the first time in that format in the U.S. and others for the first time on CD anywhere. The first of two sets of reissues will be released on Nov. 6, with the others following next year. The first batch will appear in two-fer configurations, 18 original King albums on nine CDs. These initial releases will consist of albums with a common theme or arranger while the second set will consist of single albums augmented by non-LP bonus tracks that either hail from the same session or time period as the album in question, or fit the album’s theme.

Cole, who played piano, sang and wrote songs, signed with Capitol in 1943 at age 24, by which time he had already been recording for over six years as the leader of the King Cole Trio, releasing on Decca what were called “race” records, or music marketed mainly to the black community. With Capitol, Cole and the Trio went mainstream and their very first session for the label on Nov. 30, 1943, produced the classic “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” which became a national Top 10 hit. For the next 20-plus years, Cole continued to record for Capitol, first as leader of the Trio and then as a romantic balladeer and pop icon. Cole died in 1965.

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