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William Randolph "Cozy" Cole (October 17, 1909 – January 9, 1981) was an American jazz drummer who had hits with the songs "Topsy I" and "Topsy II". "Topsy II" peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at No. 1 on the R&B chart. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. The track peaked at No. 29 in the UK Singles Chart in 1958. The recording contained a long drum solo and was one of the few drum solo recordings to make the charts at Billboard magazine. The single was issued by Love Records, a small record label in Brooklyn, New York. Cole's song "Turvy II" reached No. 36 in 1959.
William Randolph Cole was born in 1909 in East Orange, New Jersey. His first music job was with Wilbur 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 he continued to perform in a variety of settings. Cole and Gene Krupa often played drum duets at the Metropole in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s.
Cole is cited as an influence by many contemporary rock drummers, including Cozy Powell, who took his nickname "Cozy" from Cole. In 1981, he died of cancer in Columbus, Ohio.Wide ThumbClearartFanartBanner User Comments