Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Nat King Cole Show with guest Ella Fitzgerald (1957)

The first network variety program to star an African-American was the short-lived, but very popular, Nat King Cole Show. (Amos n' Andy and Belulah were the first TV shows to star African-American actors)To make up for its many airings of The Comic View, BET re-ran the show during its formative years. Wish they would show more early television featuring Black showbiz pioneers. Ella had just come out with the LP pictured above when she made this appearance. This show was cancelled when NBC buckled to pressure from racist advertisers appeasing their racist Southern clientele and their demands. After the cancellation, Nat King Cole remarked, "Madison Avenue is afraid of the dark."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the racist complaints was that Nat had white backing vocalists on stage behind him as he sang. It upset the racist morons because it appeared to them that the "white man" was working for the "black man." Yep, that's what Nat had in mind all along...singing backing vocals meant that "whitey" had to take a back seat to a black man. Gee, What's next? A black guy surpassing Babe Ruth for the home run record? ---Shark