From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Coe, James R. "Jimmy" [Jimmy Cole]

(born: 1921  -  died: 2004) 

James R. Coe was born in Tompkinsville, KY but grew up in Indianapolis, IN, where he spent his entire musical career. He could play a number of instruments but performed most often on the baritone and tenor saxophone. He also studied the clarinet.

Coe played and recorded with Jay McShann's band as a replacement for Charlie Parker. He also recorded with other groups, sometimes under the name Jimmy Cole. He used his birth name 'Coe' with his own groups: Jimmy Coe and His Orchestra and Jimmy Coe and His Gay Cats of Rhythm.

Coe served in the U.S. Army 1943-1945 and played in the 415th Band New Guinea. By the mid-1960s, Coe was teaching music in the Indianapolis public schools as well as working for the Marion County (IN) juvenile courts and the U.S. Postal Service.

For more see The Jimmy Coe Discography on the Clemson University website; and J. Harvey, "Jimmy Coe, well-known jazz musician and band leader, dies," The Indianapolis Star, 2/28/2004, City State section, p. B01.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Monroe County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Tompkinsville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Outside Kentucky Place Name

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Indianapolis star (newspaper)

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Coe, James R. "Jimmy" [Jimmy Cole],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 19, 2024,

Last modified: 2023-06-09 16:07:12