Unforgettable (Nat King Cole song)

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"Unforgettable"
Unforgettable - Nat King Cole.jpg
Single by Nat King Cole
from the album Unforgettable
ReleasedOctober 1951
Recorded1951
Genre
Length2:33
LabelCapitol
Songwriter(s)Irving Gordon
Producer(s)Lee Gillette
Nat King Cole singles chronology
"Mona Lisa"
(1950)
"Unforgettable"
(1952)
"Pretend"
(1953)
Dinah Washington singles chronology
"What a Diff'rence a Day Made"
(1959)
"Unforgettable'"
(1959)
"Baby (You've Got What It Takes)"
(1960)

"Unforgettable" is a popular song written by Irving Gordon and produced by Lee Gillette. 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[edit]

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.[1] 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. Cole recorded the tune anew in a stereo version 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 remixed to create a duet with his daughter, Natalie. The remixed version reached number 14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and also number three on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.[2] 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.[3]

Nat Cole's original recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.[4]

Chart history[edit]

Natalie and Nat King Cole version[edit]

"Unforgettable"
NatalieNatKingColeUnforgettable.jpg
Single by Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole
from the album Unforgettable... with Love
B-side"Cottage for Sale"
Released1991
Format7" vinyl, 10" vinyl, CD single, cassette single
Recorded1991
Length3:29
LabelElektra
Songwriter(s)Irving Gordon
Producer(s)David Foster
Natalie Cole singles chronology
"Wild Women Do"
(1990)
"Unforgettable"
(1991)
"The Christmas Song"
(1991)
Nat King Cole singles chronology
"When I Fall in Love"
(1987)
"Unforgettable"
(1991)
"The Christmas Song"
(1991)

American singer Natalie Cole released a cover of the song on her album Unforgettable... with Love (1991). The song, remixed as a "virtual duet" with her father, Nat King Cole,[11] 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.[12]

Charts[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1991) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[13] 2
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14] 5
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[15] 15
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[16] 1
France (SNEP)[17] 36
Germany (Official German Charts)[18] 78
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[19] 20
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[20] 15
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[21] 7
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[22] 19
US Billboard Hot 100[23] 14
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[24] 3
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[25] 10

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1991) Position
Australia (ARIA)[26] 12
Belgium (Ultratop)[27] 32
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[28] 2
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[29] 50

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[26] Gold 35,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Other cover versions[edit]

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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nelson Riddle & Nat King Cole interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 54.
  3. ^ Rock On The Net: 34th Annual Grammy Awards - 1992
  4. ^ "GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". The GRAMMYs.
  5. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1990-06-27. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  6. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  7. ^ U.S. Cash Box Chart Entries - 1990 - 1996
  8. ^ "End of Year Charts 1991". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1999). Pop Annual. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. ISBN 0-89820-142-X.
  10. ^ Top Adult Contemporary Songs of 1991
  11. ^ Maura, Johnston (January 1, 2016). "Natalie Cole: 10 Essential Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  12. ^ "Grammy's Greatest Moments, Volume 1: Various Artists". Amazon.com. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  13. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – 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. ^ "Lescharts.com – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  18. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 32, 1991" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  21. ^ "Charts.nz – Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole – Unforgettable". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  22. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  23. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  24. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  25. ^ "Natalie Cole Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  26. ^ a b "1991 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  27. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1991" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  28. ^ "RPM 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  29. ^ "End Of Year Charts 1991". Recorded Music NZaccessdate=April 13, 2019.
  30. ^ Spencer McCormick. "When Pigs Fly".
  31. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2016-07-16.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)