Cozy Cole Day

October 17, 1909 – January 9, 1981


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Drummer William Randolph “Cozy” Cole was born on October 17, 1909 in East Orange, New Jersey.

During the ‘30s, he played with Jelly Roll Morton, Benny Carter, Cab Calloway, and other giants of swing music.

Cole had a #3 Billboard Hot 100 hit with the 1958 single “Topsy, Part 2” — a remarkable feat, given that so much of the piece is a drum solo.

Here’s Cozy Cole jamming on “Sunday” with the Roy Eldridge sextet.

In the second half of the video you can see drumming great Gene Krupa doing some solos opposite Cole — both in rehearsal and in the final broadcast.

This video should dispel stereotypes that rock artists were originators of “match grip,” in which both sticks are held overhand.


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