Over the years since then, during the holidays when “The Christmas Song” is a mainstay, rivaling Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”, I remember and give thanks to the memory of Nat King Cole.
Just a week before his scheduled Pittsburgh appearance, Jack telephoned to say Nat King Cole would indeed be a guest disc jockey on KQVI made arrangements for him to make use of my office and nervously cleared my desk and made certain a more comfortable chair than the company issued wooden straight back was provided. Coffee and a small basket of fresh fruit was brought into my office and I made sure a clean ashtray was available, as my guest was frequently pictured with a cigarette in hand. It was a time when the Marlboro man was the norm, with no thought given to the harmful effects of smoking.
Beginning as a 15-minute pops show on Monday night, the program was expanded to a half hour in July 1957. Despite the efforts of NBC, as well as many of Cole’s industry colleagues—many of whom, such as , , , , , and , worked for industry scale (or even for no pay) in order to help the show save money—The Nat King Cole Show was ultimately done in by lack of a national sponsorship. Companies such as assumed regional sponsorship of the show, but a national sponsor never appeared.