(Photo by Angela George)
In August 1991, Dennis Hunt, an L.A. Times staff writer, conducted a Q&A interview with Natalie Cole. The photo accompanying the newspaper article depicted a 41-year-old Natalie beaming as she reminisced about her father, Nat King Cole, and glowing from the success of the Unforgettable album. Unbeknownst to Hunt and Cole the interview would become a historical document referred to countless times over the years.
When asked about the current crop of young recording artists, Ms. Cole pointed out their inability to sing. And the music industry's strategic recruitment of attractive young artists. Since their physical appearance was a cash cow requiring effortless promotion.
Moreover, Natalie divulged overhearing a guy at the studio mention glimpsing a jarring executive memo. It placed a hold on signing artists over 19 years-old for that year at a well-known record company. After relating the story to Hunt, Ms. Cole remarked, “How do you think that made me feel–at my age?”
The memo Ms. Cole alluded to was a harbinger of future trends in the music industry. Sadly, the reconfiguration of the music business has led to the constriction and narrowing of the R&B and soul music genres. It begs whether artists the caliber of Billy Paul, Etta James, Wilson Pickett, Jerry Butler, or Mavis Staples, etc. will ever get a recording deal?
Hunt, Dennis. (1991, August 18). "Q&A with NATALIE COLE." The Los Angeles Times.
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I'm I. Cowthern -- I enjoy watching old black and white movies and listening to jazz, pop, rock, R&B, and classical music.