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Nat Gonella, Georgia On My Mind



“Nat was the king and Armstrong was the emperor … he was the first musician in Britain to recognise the worth of Armstrong.” Humphrey Lyttelton

On the British jazz scene Nat Gonella was Number One Trumpeter. In addition to being a born showman, he was a paramount technician who wielded significant influence on successive generations of jazz trumpeters. Nat was a trumpet ace, bandleader and vocalist and in 1934 the Georgians (named after the hit recording Georgia on my Mind) sprang into being as a-band-within-a-band, a splinter group of the famous Lew Stone Orchestra.

Nat Gonella died aged 90 on August 6th 1998 and in his Guardian Obituary Digby Fairweather concluded “Nat was joyful company to all who knew him … a pragmatist, unweighed by ego, reluctant to say he was doing much more than having fun and paying a few bills along the way. And in return he was loved by everyone. No British jazz musician has left a more significant, yet un assuming, legacy of triumphant success.”

Nat Gonella, Georgia On My Mind