This weekend, Montgomery will celebrate the 100th birthday of one of its most famous sons, legendary singer Nat King Cole.
Joining the party will be Cole's brother Freddy Cole, a career musician in his own right who, for the first time in years, will visit the city and house where his brother was born.
"It's kind of hard. It's like the song says, just another way to feel. It'll be good to see it and know that someone thinks as much of you as your family to put on this occasion," Freddy Cole said Thursday in a phone interview with the Montgomery Advertiser.
Nat's youngest brother will be in town for the entire weekend of festivities, which were organized by the Nat King Cole Society.
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A Route 66 VIP Riverboat ride on the Harriott II will kick the weekend off. On March 17, fans of the legendary musician can celebrate his birthday at the 25th Annual Unforgettable Scholarship Gala at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Montgomery.
The event will be highlighted by performances from Nat King Cole impersonator Darrell Cole and local musician Ron Handy as well as a guest appearance by Kirk Jay, a Montgomery resident who placed third in this past season of "The Voice."
The ticketed events will raise money for the Nat King Cole Society's scholarship fund, which last year paid approximately $7,000 to Alabama State University visual and performing arts students. A portion will also go toward the continued restoration of the house where Nathaniel Adam Coles was born on March 17, 1919.
"'Unforgettable' will always be unforgettable," said John McGowan, chairman of the Nat King Cole Society, referring to Cole's 1951 hit.
A few years after Nat King Cole was born, the Coles family moved to Chicago where Freddy was born and raised. Freddy Cole, who is 13 years younger than the most famous of the five siblings, said he was too young to interact much with the iconic singer before his brother's death in 1965. He recalls touring with Nat King Cole one year, but said he was "too young to appreciate what was happening."
Freddy Cole made a living in music himself. He said he has been able to travel the world delivering his signature baritone vocal stylings and four times he was nominated for a Grammy Award, the latest coming this year for "My Mood is You."
Freddy Cole lives in Atlanta, where he can still be found carrying on the musical traditions of a family that also saw Natalie Cole rise to prominence, but this weekend is all about remembering the man that brought the world "Unforgettable."
"I'm gratified that someone would think that much of him. That's all I can say about it is, 'Thank you,'" Freddy Cole said. "He'll be here forever. His music will be here forever."