Straighten Up and Fly Right: The Life and Music of Nat King Cole

Will Friedwald (Author)

Product Details

$34.95  $32.15
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
May 13, 2020
6.5 X 9.5 X 1.9 inches | 2.4 pounds

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About the Author

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for The Wall Street Journal as well as for magazines such as Vanity Fair. He is also the associate producer and writer of Michael Feinstein's Jazz and Popular Song Series at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has produced shows for Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, The Mabel Mercer Foundation Cabaret Convention at Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, 54 Below, Urban Stages, The Friars Club, and elsewhere.


"Nat Cole is still such an ineffably engaging singer that it is easy to forget just how protean and important a musician he was -- originating new styles of be-bop-to-modern jazz piano; creating with his trio a template for R&B; renewing he American song book in its eclipse; becoming one of the first true cross-over artists, and not least, ending as a quiet hero of the civil rights movement. Artists as different as Bill Evans, Chuck Berry, and Sam Cooke all owe him an incalculable debt. Will Friedwald's biography captures each of these faces of Cole, and does so with a delightful mix of scholarly dedication and interpretive verve. This is certainly the best book that anyone will write about Nat King Cole." -- Adam Gopnik