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Straighten Up and Fly Right – The Life and Music of Nat King Cole - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole

Will Friedwald


This book is the first true critical biography of Nat King Cole, the seminal 20th-century jazz pianist, popular singer, and African American cultural icon. It draws on many decades of research, extensive interviews, and the music itself to present an in-depth exploration of how Cole achieved his unique twin peaks: as both a pioneering, innovative instrumentalist, a key player in the transition from swing to modern jazz, with dozens of prominent disciples; and as the most popular male singer of his generation. This is the first new book on Cole in more than twenty years and the only one to take ... More

Keywords: Nat King Cole, civil rights movement, jazz, popular music, Great American Songbook, piano

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780190882044
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190882044.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Will Friedwald, author