In 1958, Nat played legendary composer W.C. Handy in the film St. Louis Blues and, Songs from St. Louis Blues was the album that accompanied its release. However, these performances of Handy tunes are NOT the versions from the soundtrack (which is maybe a good thing if you ve seen this lifelessly-scripted movie), but fresh creations courtesy of Cole and Nelson Riddle that combine the composer s blues sensibility with an updated, late- 50s big band sound. Similarly, our reissue here of Looking Back , the posthumously-released 1965 collection of singles and rarities, eliminates the after-the-fact rhythm tracks that Dave Cavanaugh added in order to make the material sound more contemporary in favor of the unvarnished sound of Nat King Cole (though three of these songs are stereo re-records Nat made in 1961 for The Nat King Cole Story ). Aside from those, this reissue of Looking Back marks the first time these songs have been heard in their original, pure form since they were initially issued on singles and EPs.
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