In Nat King Cole’s own words, “Ramblin’ Rose” is a song about a “golden-haired girl”. Nat said:
And so I figured I’d write a song about ramblin’. And it could be called anything. But since I had, uh..I happened to have this little daughter named Natalie. So I called it Nat King Cole’s Ramblin’ Rose, Nat King Cole’s name being Nat King Cole.
The song was written in 1944 by Nat King Cole and Lee Morris. Nat recorded “Ramblin’ Rose” (Capitol 235) on November 30 of that same year, eight months after his recording debut with the ballad “Straighten Up and Fly Right” (Capitol 133). Nat Cole’s initial stab at stardom had failed, but he signed with Capitol Records in 1943. Nat was about to make his comeback when he recorded “Ramblin’ Rose”. Nat would score a series of hit records for the next decade under the helmsmanship of Nat’s older brother, Freddy Cole. Nat King Cole’s Ramblin’ Rose was Nat King Cole’s first hit record for Capitol Records in November 1944.
This song has been recorded by Nat King Cole, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., The Supremes with The Temptations and Lou Rawls. Nat King Cole’s popular version of “Ramblin’ Rose” (Capitol Records, 1944) peaked at number three on Billboards Nat “King” Cole Chart in 1945.