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The younger brother of Nat King Cole and uncle of Natalie Cole, singer/pianist Freddy Cole sounds a great deal like his celebrated sibling, yet has a personality of his own. Cole, whose vocals tend to be a bit darker and slightly rougher, began playing piano at five or six. He was interested in playing football professionally, but decided to pursue a career in music after a hand injury ended his career as an athlete. He debuted on vinyl in 1952 when he recorded the single "The Joke's on Me" for the obscure Chicago-based Topper Records. His next single, "Whispering Grass," on Columbia's OKeh label, was a moderate hit in 1953. In the '60s and '70s, he developed a small following recording for various small labels. Cole founded his First Shot label in the '80s and went on to record for Sunnyside and LaserLight in the early '90s. A few years later, he signed with Fantasy and enjoyed greater visibility with Grand Freddy. By 2000, Cole had signed with Telarc and released his first disc for the label, Merry-Go-Round, followed by Rio de Janeiro Blue in 2001. In the Name of Love appeared two years later featuring Cole's approach to soft pop hits made famous by Smokey Robinson, Bonnie Raitt, and Van Morrison, among others. In 2004, GRP reissued Cole's 1964 recording Waiter, Ask the Man to Play the Blues. It was followed in 2005 by This Love of Mine, in 2006 by Because of You, and in 2010, by Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B, all on the Highnote label. In 2011, Cole released Talk to Me featuring guitarist Randy Napoleon, saxophonist Harry Allen, trumpeter Terell Stafford, and others. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi