“My brother was a wonderful man,” he said. “He loved the music. He loved people and he would encourage anybody.”
Freddy Cole also had plenty of admirers.
“He’s always telling different stories with his songs,” friend and musician-composer Bill Charlap told the AJC in 2014. “The lyrics mean something. That is a very special Cole dynasty.”
Cole moved his family to Atlanta in 1971 from New York City. A Chicago native, he graduated from the Julliard School of Music. At one time, he had wanted to be professional football or baseball player, but a hand injury ended those dreams. He considered it a blessing.
“For a man who traveled the world and performed for thousands of people everywhere, he lived a great life,” Tracy Cole, his grandson, told the AJC Sunday. “He had fun.”
“He was always nice to everybody. He never had anything bad to say about anybody,” Tracy Cole recalled. “From other musicians, I heard he was their teacher.”
As a performer, Cole didn’t use playlists – choosing instead to gauge the energy of the audience.
“There’s no telling what I may play,” he told the AJC. “It might be a surprise to me.”