By Tom Sinclair
Updated August 02, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Watching these black-and-white clips from Cole’s ’50s TV show, one is struck by a single thought: There’s a thin line between corny and classic. If you can mentally click back to a time before rock was the predominant musical language, you’ll be more likely to appreciate Cole’s suave, sophisticated singing and buttoned-down cool. If not, you’ll probably squirm through the standards (”I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face,” ”Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”) before you get to the good stuff: jivey duets with Johnny Mercer and Harry Belafonte on ”Save the Bones for Henry Jones” and ”Mama Look a Boo Boo,” respectively.

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