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William Randolph "Cozy" Cole
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Birth: Oct. 17, 1909
East Orange
Essex County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Jan. 9, 1981
Franklin County
Ohio, USA

Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) - Saturday, January 31, 1981


By Burr Van Atta
Inquirer Staff Writer
William (Cozy) Cole, a drummer who for years shared top honors with the late
Gene Krupa, died Thursday of cancer in Ohio State University Hospital in
Columbus, Ohio. He was 74.
Hospital spokesmen said he had been under treatment for only a short time.
Mr. Cole, who moved to Columbus several years ago to study at the Capital
University Conservatory of Music in suburban Bexley, was one of the few
musicians still active in the business whose careers stretched from gutbucket
and blues to rock. His first jobs were with Blanche Calloway and " Jelly Roll"
Morton, followed by stints with Benny Carter, Stuff Smith, Raymond Scott, Cab
Calloway, Teddy Wilson, Billie Holiday, Bunny Berrigan, Artie Shaw, Benny
Goodman, Harry James, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Armstrong and Jonah Jones.
He regularly played the Newport Jazz Festivals in Rhode Island, New York,
Dallas and Hawaii.
One of the best-known sidemen, for 25 years he was an annual contender
- with Krupa - for Downbeat Magazine's Drummer of the Year Award.
Despite their competition, the two admired each other - each insisting that
the other was the best in the land. Eventually, they joined forces and opened
a school for percussionists in New York.
The school was closed after Krupa's death in 1973.
Mr. Cole's love for music and percussion paid off. In 1957, he led a group
in recording " Topsy," which became the first million-selling record
featuring drums. He used his royalties for a major purchase: a Bentley
He accomplished a number of firsts. He was the first black member of the CBS
staff orchestra in New York. He also was the first student lecturer at Capital
and was awarded the school's honorary Doctorate of Musical Arts in 1978,
although still classified as a junior. His class standing was based on the
fact that years before, he had managed to win credits for study at the
Juilliard School.
Mr. Cole had said he moved to Columbus because he was impressed with
Capital's music department and wanted to learn something about what he had
been doing all his life. He studied musical arrangement, piano and harmony.
He is survived by his wife, Evelyn, a brother and a sister.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete Friday.
Edition: YB
Page: C07
Copyright (c) 1981 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Created by: Steven Laird
Record added: Nov 04, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100129042
William Randolph Cozy Cole
Added by: Steven Laird
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Click on image for full size.

- gunner10
 Added: Mar. 27, 2015
Thanks to one of the world's Legendary Jazz Drummers.
 Added: Feb. 1, 2015

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