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Bob Cole

Robert Allen Cole (July 1, 1868 – August 2, 1911) was an African American composer, actor, playwright, and stage producer and director.

In collaboration with Billy Johnson, he wrote and produced A Trip to Coontown (1898), the first musical entirely created and owned by black showmen. The popular song La Hoola Boola (1898) was also a result of their collaboration. Cole later partnered with brothers J. Rosamond Johnson, pianist and singer, and James Weldon Johnson, pianist, guitarist and lawyer, which resulted in over 200 songs.

Their vaudeville act featured classical piano pieces and their musicals featured sophisticated lyrics without the usual stereotypes such as "hot-mamas" and watermelons. Success enabled Cole and Rosamond to tour America and Europe with their act. The trio's most popular songs were "Louisiana Lize" and "Under the Bamboo Tree" (1901?). Their more successful musicals were The Shoo-Fly Regiment (1906) and The Red Moon (1908, written without Weldon).

Cole committed suicide by drowning himself in a creek in the Catskills in 1911 after a nervous breakdown and period of clinical depression that worsened in 1910.

Birth and Death Data: Born July 1st, 1868

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1897 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, composer, songwriter

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 94 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Berliner 1748 7-in. 7/14/1897 Czar of the Tenderloin Will F. Denny Male vocal solo lyricist, composer  
Berliner 1912 7-in. 11/1/1898 There is a warm spot in my heart for you baby Jere Mahoney Male vocal solo songwriter  
Berliner 013 7-in. Before June 1899 What is dat coon's game Len Spencer Male vocal solo songwriter  
Berliner 0121 7-in. 4/29/1899 No coons allowed Len Spencer Male vocal solo composer  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]585 7-in. 1/5/1901 Why don't the band play? S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]585 10-in. 5/16/1902 Why don't the band play? S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]585 12-in. 5/16/1902 Why don't the band play? S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]991 7-in. 10/11/1901 In my castle on the River Nile Bert Williams Male vocal solo, with piano lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]991 10-in. 10/11/1901 In my castle on the River Nile Bert Williams Male vocal solo, with piano lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1099 7-in. 11/20/1901 Come out, Dinah, on the green Harry Macdonough Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1099 10-in. 11/20/1901 Come out, Dinah, on the green Harry Macdonough Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1296 7-in. 3/5/1902 Tell me, dusky maiden Arthur Collins ; Joseph Natus Male vocal duet lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1296 10-in. 3/5/1902 Tell me dusky maiden Arthur Collins ; Joseph Natus Male vocal duet lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1327 7-in. 3/14/1902 Oh! Didn't he ramble! Dan W. Quinn Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1327 10-in. 3/14/1902 Oh! Didn't he ramble! Dan W. Quinn Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1353 7-in. 4/8/1902 The maiden with the dreamy eyes Harry Macdonough Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1353 10-in. 4/8/1902 The maiden with the dreamy eyes Harry Macdonough Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1388 7-in. 5/16/1902 Nobody's looking but the owl and moon S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1388 10-in. 5/16/1902 Nobody's looking but the owl and moon S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix C-]1388 12-in. 5/16/1902 Nobody's looking but the owl and moon S. H. Dudley Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1457 7-in. 7/1/1902 I must have been a-dreamin' Silas Leachman Male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1457 10-in. 7/1/1902 I must have been a dreamin' Silas Leachman Male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1633 7-in. 9/18/1902 Under the bamboo tree Arthur Collins Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix B-]1633 10-in. 9/18/1902 Under the bamboo tree Arthur Collins Male vocal solo lyricist  
Victor [Pre-matrix A-]1722 7-in. 10/31/1902 I must have been a-dreamin' Collins and Harlan Male vocal duet lyricist, composer  
(Results 1-25 of 94 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Cole, Bob," accessed October 19, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109224.

Cole, Bob. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109224.

"Cole, Bob." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 19 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/109224

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