The Nat King Cole Show, the first variety program hosted by an African-American, debuted 64 years ago today — a groundbreaking moment in the history of television. While it only lasted for one season, “The Nat King Cole Show” was a historic first for African American performers, as Cole was the first black man welcomed into America’s living rooms on a nationally broadcasted television program. A Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist and vocalist known for his soft baritone voice, Nat King Cole was already a household name when his eponymous television show debuted in 1956, with more than 150 singles reaching the Billboard Pop, R&B, and Country charts.
“I'm an interpreter of stories. When I perform it's like sitting down at my piano and telling fairy stories.” —
Nat King Cole