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Unforgettable (Nat King Cole song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Unforgettable early 1950s sheet music Irving Gordon Nat King Cole.png
Early-1950s sheet music
Single by Nat King Cole
from the album Unforgettable
B-side"My First and My Last Love"
ReleasedOctober 1951
RecordedAugust 17, 1951 [1]
Songwriter(s)Irving Gordon
Producer(s)Lee Gillette
Nat King Cole singles chronology
"Mona Lisa"
Dinah Washington singles chronology
"What a Diff'rence a Day Made"
"Baby (You've Got What It Takes)"

"Unforgettable" is a popular song written by Irving Gordon. The song's original working title was "Uncomparable"; however, the music publishing company asked Gordon to change it to "Unforgettable". The song was published in 1951.

Nat King Cole version

The most popular version of the song was recorded by Nat King Cole in 1951 from his album Unforgettable (1952), with an arrangement written by Nelson Riddle.[2] A non-orchestrated version of the song recorded in 1952 is featured as one of the seven bonus tracks on Cole's 1998 CD reissue of 1955's otherwise completely instrumental album, Penthouse Serenade. On March 30, 1961, Nat King Cole recorded the tune anew in a stereo version (with Ralph Carmichael and his Orchestra) of the Riddle arrangement, for the album The Nat King Cole Story (1961).

In 1991, after Elvis Presley's musical director Joe Guercio had the idea, Cole's original 1951 recording of the song was edited and reworked to create a duet with his daughter, Natalie. The remixed version reached number 14 on the Hot 100, matching the peak position of the original version on the Billboard Best-Selling Pop Singles chart, and also number three on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.[3] The song also won three awards at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards (1992): Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.[4]

Nat Cole's original recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.[5]

Chart history

Chart (1951–52) Peak
US Billboard Best-Selling Pop Singles[6] 14
US Billboard Best-Selling Sheet Music[7] 15
US Billboard Records Most Played by Disk Jockeys[8] 12
Chart (1988) Peak
UK Singles (OCC)[9] 84

Natalie and Nat King Cole version

Single by Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole
from the album Unforgettable... with Love
B-side"Cottage for Sale"
ReleasedJune 1991
Songwriter(s)Irving Gordon
Producer(s)David Foster
Natalie Cole singles chronology
"Wild Women Do"
"The Christmas Song"
Nat King Cole singles chronology
"When I Fall in Love"
"The Christmas Song"

American singer Natalie Cole released a cover of the song on her album Unforgettable... with Love (1991). The song, reworked as a "virtual duet" with her father, Nat King Cole,[10] reached number three on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, number one on the Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary chart, and number two on the Australian Singles Chart. The performance of the song at the 1992 Grammy Awards was released on the 1994 album Grammy's Greatest Moments Volume I.[11]

Critical reception

Billboard commented, "Through the magic of digital technology father and daughter duet on this timeless song that swells with lush orchestration and moving harmonies."[12]


Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[28] Gold 35,000^
France 40,000[34]

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Other cover versions

Semprini with Rhythm Acc. recorded it in London on March 26, 1952, as the third melody of the medley "Dancing to the piano (No. 14) - Part 1. Hit Medley of Foxtrots" along with "Slow Coach" and "Cry". It was released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10263.

Other cover versions were performed or recorded by:

Sampled by song


  1. ^ Nat King Cole discography, jazz
  2. ^ Nelson Riddle & Nat King Cole interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 54.
  4. ^ "Rock On The Net: 34th Annual Grammy Awards - 1992". Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  5. ^ "GRAMMY Hall Of Fame".
  6. ^ "The Billboard Music Popularity Charts – Best-Selling Pop Singles" (PDF). The Billboard. November 24, 1951. p. 34. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Billboard Music Popularity Charts – Best-Selling Sheet Music" (PDF). The Billboard. January 12, 1952. p. 30. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "The Billboard Music Popularity Charts – Records Most Played by Disk Jockeys" (PDF). The Billboard. February 2, 1952. p. 28. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  9. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  10. ^ Maura, Johnston (January 1, 2016). "Natalie Cole: 10 Essential Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  11. ^ "Grammy's Greatest Moments, Volume 1: Various Artists". Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  12. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 103 no. 23. June 8, 1991. p. 75. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  13. ^ " – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  14. ^ " – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1618." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 1571." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  17. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 8 no. 30. July 27, 1991. p. 21. Retrieved July 13, 2020.
  18. ^ " – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  19. ^ " – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Unforgettable". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 32, 1991" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  22. ^ " – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  23. ^ " – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  25. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  26. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  27. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  28. ^ a b "1991 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  29. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1991" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  30. ^ "RPM 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  31. ^ "End of Year Charts 1991". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  32. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  33. ^ "Top Adult Contemporary Songs of 1991 ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  34. ^ J. R. Reynolds (August 31, 1996). "Future Bright For Cole's "Star Dust"". Billboard. No. 28. p. 9. Retrieved May 30, 2021 – via Google Books.
  35. ^ Spencer McCormick. "When Pigs Fly".
  36. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2016-07-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
This page was last edited on 10 July 2021, at 02:02
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