Lana K. Wilson-Combs

Natalie Cole was destined to become a dynamic singer. After all, her father was the late, great Nat King Cole and her mother, Maria Cole used to sing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra.

At the age of six, Cole sang on her father's Christmas album. By age 11, she was performing on stage regularly with as much sophistication and confidence of singers twice her age.

Over the years, Cole's career has had many high and low points from Grammy nominations and awards for her chart-topping hit songs like "This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)," "Inseparable," "I've Got Love On My Mind" and "Our Love," to her lengthy battle with drug addiction and other health related issues.

Still, the incomparable Cole has persevered. She continues to leave an indelible mark in the music industry by blending her beautiful, sultry, jazz and R&B vocals to appreciative audiences worldwide.

Cole's Northern California fans will be treated to an unforgettable night as the singer makes a summer tour stop at Cache Creek Casino Resort's Club 88 on May 19.

The singer's greatest hits and more will be on display at Cache Creek Casino Resort including those from the 1991 disc, "Unforgettable With Love," a jazz collection that set a new standard for reinventing the Great American Songbook.

The CD, 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.

Instead of exploiting the moment and rushing out a second volume, Cole thoughtfully took a step back, devoted herself to several other stellar projects including her riveting autobiography, and waited until she felt ready to return to the songs that fulfill her heart and soul.

Releasing "Still Unforgettable "in 2009, the album won two Grammys, one for "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album" and "Best Instrumental Accompanying Vocalist." It also earned Cole a NAACP Award for Best Jazz Artist.

"Still Unforgettable" proved to be more than worth the wait: A co-venture between Natalie, DMI Music and Rhino/WEA, Cole lovingly wrapped her unparalleled supple voice around 14 standards.

This was her 21st studio album and Cole also took the reins as producer for the first time. Just as she lovingly partnered with her late father for a posthumous duet on the title track on the 1991 masterpiece, this time they reunited on the delightful "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," first recorded by Nat King Cole 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," said Cole. "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."

And for those who havw seen Cole in concert before, knows that she still astonishes with her vocal dexterity and her intimate, knowing way with a lyric and melody.

"I still love recording and still love the stage," said Cole. "But like my Dad, I have the most fun when I am in front of that glorious orchestra or that kick-butt Big Band."

And like so many of her fans, she finds the beauty in these songs and a mystique that is missing from much of contemporary music.

"Many songwriters these days seem to feel that they have to tell it all," she said. "They don't allow the audience to imagine. Everything is so graphic-there is no mystery.

Conversely, the songs on "Still Unforgettable" go deeper into the treasure chest of great American songwriting, with lyrics and melodies that touch you and soothe you, appealing to your intellectual side, but most of all, appealing to your heart."

EDITOR'S NOTE: Natalie Cole plays Cache Creek Casino Resort's Club 88 on May 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $89/$79/$69. For tickets, contact online at or by phone (800) 225-2277; or and Cache Creek Casino Resort's guest services desk.

DIRECTIONS: Cache Creek Casino Resort is one of Northern California's largest casino-resort destinations. Located 40 miles northwest of Sacramento and 80 miles from the San Francisco Bay Area in Brooks, Ca.

For more information, please visit or call (800) 452-8181.

Some information used in this report obtained from the Cache Creek Casino Resort publicity department.