Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ramblin' Rose - Nat "King" Cole

Nat "King" Cole
(N. Sherman, J. Sherman) Capitol CP 1487


Chart Entry: 1st September, 1962
Highest Position: #1
Points: 103,344
From the album "Ramblin' Rose".


Ray Charles shocked the music industry in 1962 with the release of his Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, but the daring move was inspired, prompting a string a copy cat crossovers. Nat "King" Cole had ruled the charts during the 50's as one of the premier crooners, but even he couldn't compete with the changing musical platform. The hits were few and fare between for Nat, with the dawn of the new decade, so it was time to shake up his own career, taking a leaf out of Ray's book.

A who's who of Country music provided the material needed for Nat's genre crossing release, Ramblin' Rose. Featuring Claude King's "Wolverton Mountain", Jim Reeves' "He'll Have To Go" and Hank Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart", Nat's interpretations didn't exactly re-write the Country music textbooks. There was barely a trace of what is considered true Country music, nevertheless, it struck a chord with devoted Nat "King" Cole devotees, proven by the success of the title track, "Ramblin' Rose".

"Ramblin' Rose", the single, reached #2 on the US Billboard charts, helping it to over one million sales in the country. However, in terms of chart success, it was Australia that put Nat's career back on track by sending the single to #1 on the Kent Top 20. It would be the last #1 in this country, capping off one of the most successful singles careers ever seen.

The success of "Ramblin' Rose" prompted Nat to continue his Country music experiment with a second album during the same year, Dear Lonely Hearts. The less successful album didn't do much to reinforce Nat's new direction, but it didnt stop Nat from including litterings of Country inspired music in his music, right up until his untimely death in 1965.

Nat "King" Cole's dallyence with Country music wasn't totally in vain as a couple of true Country music stars included "Ramblin' Rose" in their repertoire, Johnny Lee reaching #37 in the US during 1977 with his version, and Hank Snow popping his head in at #93 a year later. Since then, Nat "King" Cole's Country music career has been highlighted and separated with various compilation albums devoted to his new found genre experience.


Chart Run: (25 weeks in Top 100)
(Kent Top 20)

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