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Cozy Cole

Photo by Ralph F. Seghers
Background information
Birth name William Randolph Cole
Born October 17, 1909(1909-10-17)
Origin East Orange, New Jersey, United States
Died January 31, 1981 (aged 71)
Genres Swing
Occupations Drummer
Instruments Drums
Years active 1930s — 1970s
Associated acts Cab Calloway
Blanche Calloway
Benny Carter
Stuff Smith
Willie Bryant
Raymond Scott

Cozy Cole (October 17, 1909 – January 31, 1981) was a jazz drummer who scored a #1 Cashbox magazine hit with the record "Topsy Part 2". "Topsy" peaked at number three on Billboard Hot 100, and at number one on the R&B chart. [1]. The recording contained a lengthy drum solo, and was one of the few drum solo recordings that ever made the Billboard Hot 100 (1958) chart. The single was issued on the tiny Brooklyn-based Love Records label.

William Randolph Cole was born in 1909 in East Orange, New Jersey. His first music job was with Wilber Sweatman in 1928. In 1930 he played for Jelly Roll Morton's Red Hot Peppers, recording an early drum solo on "Load of Cole". He spent 1931–33 with Blanche Calloway, 1933-34 with Benny Carter, 1935-36 with Willie Bryant, 1936-38 with Stuff Smith's small combo, and 1938-42 with Cab Calloway. In 1942, he was hired by CBS Radio music director Raymond Scott as part of network radio's first mixed-race orchestra. After that he played with Louis Armstrong's All Stars.

Cole appeared in music-related films, including a brief cameo in Don't Knock the Rock. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Cole continued to perform in a variety of settings. Cole and Gene Krupa often played duets at the Metropole in New York City during the 1950s and 60s.

He died of cancer in 1981, in Columbus, Ohio.

Cole is cited as an influence by many contemporary rock drummers, including Cozy Powell, who part named himself after Cole.


External links


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 126.  


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