Memories of Nat Gonella
(An article by Simone & Leslie Coote)
Leslie Coote

My name is Leslie Coote.  I was born in Shepherds Bush, London, England in 1928.   I am a big fan of all types of music ranging from opera to jazz – but have a special interest in traditional jazz and the dance bands of the 1940s.
Me (left) and Bert in about 1932
My elder brother, Bert, brought home his first Nat Gonella record in 1935.  It was Hesitation Blues and he played it over and over until it was nearly worn out.  Our Dad called it ‘noise’ and couldn’t stand it.  His musical taste was for military marches and his favourite song was Gracie Fields’ Now is the Hour.  Nevertheless we all went as a family to see Nat Gonella whenever he appeared at one of the nearby theatres – either the Shepherds Bush Empire or the Chiswick Empire.

In competition with Bert, I brought home my first record – Louis Armstrong’s Thanks a Million / Solitude and discovered other music – Harry James, Harry Roy and Benny Goodman for instance.

In the 1970s, Nat Gonella made appearances in a series of Old Time Music Hall revivals.  On one memorable occasion we went as a family to see him at Wimbledon Theatre where he dedicated Stardust to Bert’s oldest daughter, Natalie (named for him, of course).  After the show Nat came home with us, where this photo of Nat, Bert and myself was taken.  I’m on the right.  “Blow it don’t suck it”, wrote Nat on the back of the photo.

I have a very large collection of music by both Louis Armstrong and Nat Gonella, but there are always those elusive songs I remember hearing years ago but haven’t come across in ages.  So I was delighted to find this site and to discover some of those tracks, in particular Tormented by Nat Gonella.

I have chosen four more rare Nat Gonella tracks and I hope you will enjoy hearing them again as much as I will.

Nat and me
Download im Real-Player Format Bring em back alive
Download im Real-Player Format Big chief swing it 
Bojangles of Harlem Download im Real-Player Format
Download im Real-Player Format Don’t cross your fingers cross your heart
Tormented Download im Real-Player Format
Additional note by Swingstyle:
Nat Gonella, ~ 1934
There was a bandleader named Nat
Who attempted to broadcast some 'Scat'
But they said: 'Oh Gonella,
I say, my deah fellah'
We realy can't let you do that!'
!! You can find some more about Nat Gonella and his Georgians in our 
Museum-section under ''Music/Orchestras and Artists'' !!

!! Weitere Informationen über Nat Gonella and his Georgians auch in 
unserem Museum unter ''Musik/Orchester and Künstler'' !!