The Troy Street Observer

Oct 29, 1945: Cole Stops Traffic in Dudley Square!

The Nat “King” Cole Trio rolled into Boston on October 25, 1945, as headliners for the show opening that night at the RKO-Boston Theatre. The Andy Kirk Orchestra was also on the bill, and the comic opening the show (there was always a comic opening the show) was Timmie Rogers.

Photo of King Cole Trio
The King, crowned, with Moore and Miller, 1947

The RKO-Boston was a popular place in town, offering as it did a three- or four-act stage show together with a first-run film, typically one of RKO’s B pictures. During this week, the film was the suspenser Johnny Angel, starring George Raft, Claire Trevor, and Hoagy Carmichael, who as a character named Celestial, sang “Memphis in June” for no apparent reason.

In order to promote its records on the Capitol label, the King Cole Trio (then including the underrated Oscar Moore on guitar and Johnny Miller on bass) was to make an appearance and sign autographs at the O’Byrne DeWitt and Sons Record Shop, located at 51 Warren Street in the heart of Dudley Square, at 5:00 on October 29. It was to be just another promotional appearance on a Monday afternoon before the evening’s first show.

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