|Haskell Robert Sadler, better known as
Cool Papa, was born in Denver, CO April 6, 1935, according to the All Music Guide. He
later moved to California and became active in the Oakland blues scene. A former co-worker
of mine grew up downstairs from Cool Papa, and remembered how he always seemed to be
playing music, and they would have to tell him to turn it down.
I took this photo at the Pacific
Coast Brewing Company in Oakland CA, on April 23, 1990. Cool Papa wrote the song,
"747" which pal Joe Louis Walker, covered on Live at
Slim's Vol. 2. The song has the line "Feeling so much better since you've been
gone". Cool Papa was a diabetic, and had to have his leg amputated as the disease
progressed. Despite his illness, he was a cheerful, upbeat man, and maintained his sense
of humor despite his affirmities. When I saw him play that night, he sang the line as
"Feeling so much better since my leg been gone"!
Sadly, the disease eventually claimed his
life, but he was a fixture on the East Bay music scene for quite some time, and it was a
loss when he passed. I am glad to have had the chance to meet him and to hear him play his
trademark white Gibson guitar.