Tag Archives: Nat King Cole

Natalie Cole

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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now


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Jazz Great George Shearing

George ShearingGeorge Shearing was a prolific musical talent composing literally dozens of songs. Two cuts from Shearing below, most folks would probably reference  his classic “Lullaby of Birdland”, – but I’ve chosen a piece that really shows his artistry, “Conception”, done with the George Shearing Qintet — and a second from a joint album with Nat King Cole. George Shearing played with many of the greats from Cal Tjader and Toots Thielman (On the original Birdland piece), to Billy Taylor, and of course as musical accompaniment to some of the great jazz singers. Check out how light Shearing’s fingers are dancing across the ivories in the “Conception” video. Pure genius.

George Shearing, Jazz Pianist and ‘Lullaby of Birdland’ Writer, Dead at 91

George Shearing, the prolific pianist and composer who penned ‘Lullaby of Birdland,’ died Monday at 91 in New York City. The case of death was heart failure, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Shearing was born in London in 1919 and was blind from birth. He began playing the piano almost as soon as he could stand, and when he entered a school for the blind as a teen, he studied everything from Mozart to Glenn Miller. He began playing professionally at 16 at a local bar and just four years later his career took off when he met the pianist and music writer Leonard Feather. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Music, From Way Back When to Now


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“The Tuskeegee of the North” – The Bordentown School in New Jersey

There is a myth formulated by some that black folks weren’t (and aren’t) interested in education, and somehow – before the Brown vs Board of Education decision didn’t develop facilities of their own. I’ve previously discussed the “Jenny Dean” School in Mananas, Virginia and Maggie Walker in Richmond, Virginia.

The New Jersey Historical Society has developed a film about the Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth, or “Bordentown School” as known to locals.

Here is an old film about “Bordentown”. It looks to have been shot in the late 30’s or mid 40’s –

Documentary chronicles Bordentown school as ‘A Place out of Time’

The school’s bloodlines go back to Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. It was visited by Washington, Paul Robeson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and Joe Louis. Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole played there. So did Althea Gibson. Those are the big names.

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Posted by on July 22, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life


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