A native of Montgomery, Nathaniel Adams Cole was the son of a Baptist minister.
Known as the man with the velvet voice, Cole sold over 50 million records for Capitol Records, and was the first Black man to top the record charts as a vocalist independent of an orchestra.
His unparalleled popularity launched him into movies and television, where he became the first Black man with a weekly network television series and the star of "St. Louis Blues." Cole died of lung cancer in Santa Monica, Ca., February 15, 1965.
Cole is a 1985 Lifework Award for Performing Achievement recipient.