Unforgettable is a popular song written by Irving Gordon. The song's original working title was Uncomparable. The music publishing company asked Irving to change it to Unforgettable. The song was published in 1951.
The most popular version of the song was recorded by Nat King Cole in 1951, with an arrangement written by Nelson Riddle. A non-orchestrated version of the song recorded in 1952 is featured as a bonus track on the CD reissue of 1955's completely instrumental (save the bonus material) Penthouse Serenade. Cole recorded the tune anew in 1961, in a stereo version of the Riddle arrangement, for the album The Nat King Cole Story. His version of the song was included in its entirety in the 2009 film Watchmen during the Comedian's death scene.
Beginning in the late 1940s, Cole began recording and performing pop-oriented material for mainstream audiences, in which he was often accompanied by a string orchestra. His stature as a popular icon was cemented during this period by hits such as "The Christmas Song" (Cole recorded that tune four times: on June 14, 1946, as a pure Trio recording, on August 19, 1946, with an added string section, on August 24, 1953, and in 1961 for the double album The Nat King Cole Story; this final version, recorded in stereo, is the one most often heard today), "Nature Boy" (1948), "Mona Lisa" (1950), "Too Young" (the #1 song in 1951), and his signature tune "Unforgettable" (1951) (Gainer 1). While this shift to pop music led some jazz critics and fans to accuse Cole of selling out, he never totally abandoned his jazz roots; as late as 1956, for instance, he recorded an all-jazz album After Midnight. Cole had one of his last big hits in 1963, two years before his death, with the classic "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer", which reached #6 on the Pop chart.
On the big screen, Cole had first started out in small roles in the 1940s, largely playing some version of himself. He landed some sizable parts in the late 1950s, appearing in the Errol Flynn drama Istanbul (1957). That same year, Cole appeared in the war drama China Gate with Gene Barry and Angie Dickinson. His only major starring role came in 1958, in the drama St. Louis Blues, also starring Eartha Kitt and Cab Calloway. Cole played the role of blues great W.C. Handy in the film. His final film appearance came in 1965: He performed alongside Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin in the light-hearted Western Cat Ballou.