Happy Birthday to James Ray “Bud” Cockrell – born March 28, 1950 – March 6, 2010

Happy Birthday to James Ray “Bud” Cockrell – born March 28, 1950 – March 6, 2010

Bud Cockrell

James RayBudCockrell (March 28, 1950 – March 6, 2010) was a bassist and vocalist for the California rock and roll band Pablo Cruise. Cockrell was in the band at its inception in 1973, but left in 1977 before its most successful album, Worlds Away to form a duo with his wife and former It’s a Beautiful Day band mate, Patti Santos, Cockrell & Santos in 1977. He was replaced by former Santana bassist Bruce Day.

Cockrell previously had a brief stint with the band It’s a Beautiful Day with David LaFlamme and Pattie Santos. Featured guests included Airto Moreira, Flora Purim (Return To Forever), and Jaco Pastorius.

Personal life

He was born James Ray Cockrell in the Mississippi Delta where his father, Corbet Cockrell and his uncle Clint, taught him to play the guitar and bass guitar. Cockrell and his father played in bars throughout the Delta. His mother, Shugg Roncali, and his sisters Dottie, Rita, and Stephanie, still live in the region. Cockrell married Pattie Santos, and left Pablo Cruise to work with her in creating their own album, Cockrell & Santos.

Cockrell wrote many of the songs performed by his bands. He was known as the “Rock and Roller” but also played blues and country music.

He spent his last years living in the Delta on dialysis, where he died on March 6, 2010, due to complications of diabetes.


  • It’s A Beautiful Day…Today (Columbia Records, 1973)
  • Pablo Cruise (Pablo Cruise’s debut album)
  • Lifeline (2nd album)
  • A Place In The Sun (3rd album)
  • A New Beginning – Cockrell & Santos’ only album (A&M, 1978)
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