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 William Randolph “Cozy” Cole

William Randolph “Cozy” Cole

Birth
East Orange, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Death 9 Jan 1981 (aged 71)
Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 100129042 · View Source
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Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA) - Saturday, January 31, 1981

Deceased Name: WILLIAM (COZY) COLE, DRUMMER

Obituaries
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
automobile.
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


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  • Created by: Steven Laird
  • Added: 4 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100129042
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Randolph “Cozy” Cole (17 Oct 1909–9 Jan 1981), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100129042, ; Maintained by Steven Laird (contributor 47793622) Unknown.