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 performed with Louis Armstrong and his All Stars with Velma Middleton singing vocals for the famed ninth Cavalcade of Jazz concert held at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. The concert was produced by Leon Hefflin, Sr. on June 7, 1953. Also featured that day were Roy Brown and his Orchestra, Don Tosti and His Mexican Jazzmen, Earl Bostic, Nat “King” Cole, and Shorty Rogers and his Orchestra.