Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole

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Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole
George Benson - Inspiration (Cover).jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 4, 2013
LabelConcord Jazz
ProducerJohn Burk
George Benson chronology
Guitar Man
Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole
Walking to New Orleans
Singles from Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole
  1. "Unforgettable (feat. Wynton Marsalis)"
    Released: 2013
  2. "When I Fall in Love (feat. Idina Menzel)"
    Released: 2014

Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole is a studio album by George Benson. The album was released by Concord Jazz on June 4, 2013.[1] It peaked at #89 on the Billboard album chart.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]
USA Today4/4 stars[3]

Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole has received very positive reception from music critics. Steve Leggett of Allmusic affirmed that "it all adds up to a sweet and very impressive album, full of warmth and heart, and it swings where it should."[2] At USA Today, Steve Jones praised it for "his smooth vocals [that] make this homage unforgettable."[3]


  • Vinyl LP
  • Regular CD
  • Best Buy Edition CD (incl. 2 Bonus Tracks)
  • Japanese Edition CD (incl. Bonus Track)
  • QVC Edition (Regular CD + 6-track Bonus Disc)
  • HD Tracks (High Definition Music Downloads)
  • iTunes (incl. Bonus Track)

Track listing[edit]

1."Mona Lisa" (as Lil' Georgie Benson) 0:57
2."Just One of Those Things"Cole Porter2:42
3."Unforgettable"Irving Gordon5:05
4."Walkin' My Baby"Roy Turk, Fred E. Ahlert2:43
5."When I Fall in Love"Victor Young, Edward Heyman4:04
6."Route 66"Bobby Troup3:50
7."Nature Boy"Eden Ahbez2:40
8."Ballerina"Carl Sigman, Bob Russell2:46
9."Smile"Charlie Chaplin, John Turner, Geoffrey Parsons3:22
10."Straighten Up and Fly Right"Nat King Cole, Irving Mills3:06
11."Too Young"Sidney Lippman, Sylvia Dee3:28
12."I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter"Joe Young, Fred E. Ahlert3:05
13."Mona Lisa"Jay Livingston, Ray Evans3:02
Best Buy bonus tracks
14."That Sunday, That Summer"George David Weiss, Joe Sherman3:02
15."Ramblin' Rose"Noel Sherman, Joe Sherman2:46
Japanese bonus track
14."Almost Like Being in Love"Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe2:15
iTunes bonus track
14."Mona Lisa (Calypso Version)"Jay Livingston, Ray Evans2:45


  • George Benson - vocals, guitar
  • Lil' Georgie Benson (age 8) - vocals, ukulele (on track 1)
  • Randy Waldman - piano
  • Tim May - guitar
  • Michael O'Neill - baritone guitar, banjo on "Ramblin' Rose"
  • Chuck Berghofer - bass guitar
  • Gregg Field - drums
  • Michael Fisher - percussion
  • Sheila E. - percussion on "Unforgettable"
  • Janey Clewer, Alvin Chea, Don Chelton - background vocals on "Straighten Up and Fly Right", "Smile", "That Sunday, That Summer" and "Ramblin' Rose"
  • Chris Papastephanou, Randy Waldman - background vocals on "Straighten Up and Fly Right"

Special guests[edit]

Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra[edit]

  • Trumpets - Ryan Chapman, Chris Burbank, Gilbert Paz, Jared Hall
  • Trombones - Chris Gagne, Kendall Moore, Stephen Szabadi, Major Bailey
  • Alto Saxophones - Neil Carson, Kevin McKeown
  • Tenor Saxophones - Mark Small, Alex Weitz
  • Baritone Saxophone - Derek Smith
  • Flute - Cassandra Eisenreich
  • French Horn - Jon Anderson
  • Violin - Steffen Zeichner (Concertmaster & Soloist), Abby Young, Adam Diderrich, Karin O'Keefe, Zack Piper, Michelle Godbee, Patricia Jancova, Tomas Cotik, Victor Colmenares, James Reynolds, Jonah Osawa, * Rob Patrignani, Arianne Urban, Michelle Mlacker, Katrina Schaeffer
  • Viola - Robyn Savitzky, Kathryn Severing, Marcela Fernandez, Lauren Miller
  • Cello - Joy Adams, Cecilia Huerta, Andrew Kromholz, Chia-Li Yu, Sarah Gongaware
  • Bass - Rachel Hershey, Jeff Kipperman, Yen-Ling Lin
  • Harp - Christina Hardister
  • Dean - Shelton Berg
  • Artistic Director - Terence Blanchard
  • Artistic Coordinator - Scott Flavin
  • Managing Director - Stephen Guerra

Release history[edit]

List of release dates, showing country, record label, and format
Region Date Label Format
Germany May 31, 2013 Concord CD, Digital download
United Kingdom June 3, 2013
United States June 4, 2013
Japan June 5, 2013
Germany June 14, 2013 LP record
United Kingdom June 17, 2013
United States June 25, 2013


  1. ^ "George Benson Releases Heartfelt Homage to Nat King Cole Titled Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole June 4, 2013". Retrieved 2013-04-27.
  2. ^ a b Leggett, Steve (June 3, 2013). "Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole - George Benson : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Jones, Steve (June 3, 2013). "Listen up: Rimes, Benson serve up four-star tunes". USA Today. Retrieved June 4, 2013.