Buddy Cole (musician)
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Edwin LeMar Cole, known as Buddy Cole (December 15, 1916 – November 5, 1964), was a jazz pianist and orchestra leader. He played behind a number of pop singers, including Rosemary Clooney, Jill Corey, Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads, who recorded for Columbia Records. As the Buddy Cole Trio he recorded the album New Tricks with Bing Crosby.
Buddy Cole was born in Irving, Illinois, and started his musical career in the theater playing between movies. He moved to Hollywood and played with a couple of bands, most notably the Alvino Rey big band, before becoming a studio musician. He played piano for Bing Crosby for a number of years and also toured with Rosemary Clooney. Albums with his combo were recorded on piano and Hammond organ.
Cole recorded for Capitol Records as both Buddy Cole and Eddie LaMar and His Orchestra. He did both commercial and transcription recordings for Capitol.
Although primarily known as a pianist, he had an abiding love for the organ, both Hammond and theatre organ. In his capacity as a studio musician, he worked extensively with Henry Mancini, who used his distinctive Hammond organ sound for the sound track to the TV series "Mr. Lucky". He also recorded several albums for Warner Brothers records on piano, Hammond organ and theatre pipe organ.
The theatre organ heard on these albums was the 17-rank Wurlitzer organ from the United Artists theatre plus nine ranks from a one-time radio studio Robert Morton theatre organ which he installed in the garage of a former residence in North Hollywood and on which he recorded three albums for the Columbia and Capitol labels. The combined ranks were installed in a specially built studio next to his home. Sound clips featuring Cole demonstrating the sounds of the organ can be heard at http://www.atos.org/recordings/#Cole
Two albums - Modern Pipe Organ and Autumn Nocturne - were recorded for Warner Brothers, as well as two albums done in conjunction with arranger Monty Kelly, one of which contained an arrangement of Richard Rodgers' Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, and the other of which contained transcriptions of big band arrangements with spaces for the organ. These two albums - for the Alshire label - were Cole's last disc recordings.
He later married Clare Cole, who already had two children, Jay and Jeffrey Woodruff, the latter of whom would often assist him in organ tuning.
Decline of health, last recording and death
Cole had been suffering from an advanced case of heart disease for a number of years, and beginning as early as 1959, suffered a series of heart attacks as a result.
On November 4, 1964, Cole was contracted to record some organ pieces featured in 20th Century Fox's blockbuster hit The Sound of Music including sections of the "End Titles", the reprise of "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and "Processional" and "Maria". After the marathon six-hour recording session had been completed for the evening, in the wee hours of November 5, Cole headed home, went to bed and died in his sleep of a heart attack, being found the following morning by a staff member.
- Gramophone 2003- Volume 81 - Page 122 "Crosby brought a jazzman's phrasing and sense of improvisation to much of what he did, whether in the company of Armstrong or a non-specialist jazz group like the Buddy Cole Trio whose album, New Tricks, exemplifies his relaxed approach ...