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 and featured 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.
In the mid-2000s, Cole returned on the Highnote
label for several well-received albums including 2005's This Love of Mine, 2006's Because of You, and 2010's Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B, for which he earned a Grammy nomination.
Over the next decade, Cole continued his productive relationship with Highnote
, releasing 2011's Talk to Me featuring guitarist Randy Napoleon
, saxophonist Harry Allen
, trumpeter Terell Stafford
, and others. Two years later, he returned with This and That, followed by Singing the Blues in 2014. In 2016, Cole paid tribute to his late brother, Nat King Cole
, with He Was the King. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi