The Community Concert Series brings some of the brightest stars in entertainment to our community, so it should come as no surprise that the series is welcoming the unforgettable Natalie Cole to the Crown this month.
   Cole, daughter of Nat King Cole, has been a force on the musical scene for quite some time. Her peformance in Fayetteville will spotlight some of Cole’s greatest hits, but it will also showcase some of the iconic hits of her father, including the “duet” between the pair.
   The album that featured the duet, Unforgettable ... With Love, came out in 1991. The jazz collection set a new standard for reinventing the Great American Songbook. The CD, which captured six Grammys, including  Album and Record Of The Year, spent five weeks at No. 1 and sold more than eight million copies in the U.S. alone.
   Yet instead of exploiting the moment and rushing out a second volume, Cole thoughtfully took a step back, devoted herself to several other stellar projects, and waited until she felt ready to return to the songs that fulfill her heart and soul. The time is now.
   “Timing is everything, and I wasn’t in a hurry to make this kind of a record right away,” Cole says. “Something about now just seemed the right time. There is never a guarantee of success when you are ready to put out a record — especially one like this. You have to go with your gut, but I didn’t want to be shamelessly chasing after the success of Unforgettable…With Love, so I waited.”
   Still Unforgettable proves to be more than worth the wait: A co-venture between Natalie, DMI Music and Rhino/WEA, Cole lovingly wraps her unparalleled supple voice around 14 standards. On this, her 21st studio album, Cole also takes the reins as producer for the very first time.
   {mosimage} Just as she lovingly partnered with her late father, the legendary Nat King Cole, for a posthumous duet  on the title track on the 1991 masterpiece, this time they reunite on the delightful “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home,” first recorded by Cole’s father in the early ‘50s.
   “If there was going to be another ‘duet’ with Dad, I felt it should be something more whimsical, fun and light,” Cole says. “At the same time, I was looking for a song that would also be familiar to a certain type of audience. I think this is going to work just as well. It’s adorable and loving between parent and child. It feels like he’s right there with me. How do you top that?”
   There’s only one way — by surrounding “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” with songs that are on par, songs that are stars in their own right and come with rich and varied histories of their own. On Still Unforgettable Cole looked beyond songs made famous by her father. “I decided to go deeper into the American Songbook and not just get songs from my father, but also from Frank Sinatra, Lena Horne, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peggy Lee.   The lyrics of these songs are about life. As a singer, they take me and my audience on a winsome journey.”
   To step back into time and enjoy those classics, you have only to purchase a ticket to the show, which is slated for Saturday, Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Crown Box Office and range in price from $24 to $36. For more information, visit the Web site

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