Bob Cole

Composer

1868 – 1911

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Who was Bob Cole?

Robert Allen "Bob" Cole was an American composer, actor, playwright, and stage producer and director.

In collaboration with Billy Johnson, he wrote and produced A Trip to Coontown, the first musical entirely created and owned by black showmen. The popular song La Hoola Boola 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". Their more successful musicals were The Shoo-Fly Regiment and The Red Moon.

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.

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Born
Jul 1, 1868
Athens
Nationality
  • United States of America
Died
Aug 2, 1911

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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"Bob Cole." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 23 Jan. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/bob_cole_1861>.

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