In 1958, Nat King Cole (1919-1965) dedicated an album to his international audience with Cole Español. There, for the first time ever, he sang in Spanish. It was a huge, kind of unexpected hit, for Latin-American music was still relatively unknown in America in the l950s. Cole didn’t speak Spanish at all, but he learned the lyrics phonetically. He was accompanied on most tracks by an orchestra conducted by Armando Romeu, Jr., in Havana, Cuba, in February of 1958. Dave Cavanaugh would back Cole on his second album in Spanish. Such was the success of the first attempt, that two more albums followed it in 1959 and 1961: A Mis Amigos and More Cole Español. While the initial LP had employed pre-recorded backgrounds made in Cuba, to which Cole added the vocal parts in Hollywood, all of the material from A mis amigos was taped in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the singer’s 1959 tour of Latin America. This LP edition puts together the very best 21 performances from the three original albums. PERSONNEL:
NAT “KING” COLE, vocals
A1-A2, A5-A6, A9, B2, B4 & B11:
Nat King Cole, vocals only. Arranged and conducted by Dave Cavanaugh.
Recorded in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, April 13-16, 1959.
Originally issued on A Mis Amigos.
John Collins (g), Charles P. Harris (b), Lee Young (d), probably Irving J. Bush (tp),
plus Irakitan Trio (vocal group) on A6 and B2; Sylvia Telles (guest vocalist) on B4.
A3, B5, & B10:
Nat King Cole, vocals only. Arranged and conducted by Armando Romeu Jr.
Orchestral parts taped at Estudios Panart, Havana, Cuba, February 20, 1958.
Vocal chorus by Facundo Rivero Quartet.
Vocals recorded in Hollywood in June of 1958.
Originally issued on Cole Español.
A4, A7, A10 & B6-B9:
Nat King Cole, vocals only. Arranged and conducted by Ralph Carmichael.
Recorded in Mexico City, Mexico, March 6-9, 1962.
Originally issued on More Cole Español.
Orchestra includes Reunald Jones (tp), John Collins (g), Charles Harris (b),
Lee Young (d), and unknown vocal group.
A8, B1 & B3:
Nat King Cole, vocals only. Arranged and conducted by Dave Cavanaugh Jr.
Recorded in Hollywood, June 1958. Originally issued on Cole Español.
02 AQUELLOS OJOS VERDES
03 QUIZÁS, QUIZÁS, QUIZÁS [PERHAPS, PERHAPS, PERHAPS]
04 SOLAMENTE UNA VEZ [YOU BELONG TO MY HEART]
06 YO VENDO UNOS OJOS NEGROS
07 PIEL CANELA
08 NOCHE DE RONDA
09 CAPULLITO DE ALELÍ
10 TRES PALABRAS [WITHOUT YOU]
01 ACÉRCATE MÁS [COME CLOSER TO ME]
02 AY, COSITA LINDA
04 NADIE ME AMA
05 TE QUIERO, DIJISTE [MAGIC IS THE MOONLIGHT]
06 VAYA CON DIOS
07 NO ME PLATIQUES
08 AQUÍ SE HABLA EN “AMOR” [LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE]
09 A MEDIA LUZ [WHEN LIGHTS ARE SOFT AND LOW]
10 ARRIVEDERCI ROMA