Errol Eduardo Bedward, better known by his stage name Pumpkin was an American multi-instrumentalist, percussionist, and bandleader. Nicknamed "King Of the Beats," he was known for being the one behind many old school hip hop tracks for the Profile, Enjoy, and Tuff City record companies.
Over the years, he had worked with several important early hip hop acts from 1979 to 1984, such as Spoonie Gee, Treacherous Three (Kool Moe Dee, LA Sunshine, and Special K), Funky Four, Grandmaster Caz, the Fearless Four, and Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, as well as a host of more obscure names.
Pumpkin was born in 1961 as Errol Eduardo Bedward in the north section of the Bronx at 222nd street and La Conia avenue. He grew up in a musical family. He was fluent in Spanish as his father's side was Costa Rican and Panamanian. From his neighborhood emerged many acclaimed musicians including singer Christopher Williams, Steve Jordan (drummer for David Letterman), and Chuck Chillout.
While going to school he took a liking to all instruments and excelled at learning them, but of all instruments, the drums were his favorite. His aunt bought him his first basic drum kit when he was 12 or 13. He used to practice for long hours in his garage. His second set of drums were bought by the encouraging folks in the neighborhood. With the money they put together they bought him a Red Drum 9 piece kit, which was used for concerts. Years later, he got a 3 piece Ludwig kit for his studio work.
While growing up, Pumpkin would have many jam sessions in his garage and many people from the block would come around to listen to him perform. Members of the hip-hop group The Funky Four + 1 also jammed with him. The Funky Four + 1 introduced Pumpkin to Bobby Robinson of Enjoy Records. Robinson hired Pumpkin after he saw him play the drums. Pumpkin got about $600 for each session with Robinson.
Pumpkin had many admirers in the neighborhood; one of them was Will Calhoun, who went on to play drums for the rock band Living Colour. Calhoun said later that he learned his trade from Pumpkin. Another one of his fans, a childhood friend by the name of Vincent Davis, went on to start old-school hip-hop and R&B label Vintertainment records.
By 1983, Pumpkin signed a $12,000 contract with Profile Records and made history there as well. While with Profile, he would produce for other labels, but under names like Jack O. Lantern, B. Eats or Oliver Shalom. His 1983 single "King of the Beat" was followed by one of his last productions, Pumpkin and the Profile All-Stars' "Here Comes the Beat" (Profile, 1984).
Pumkin and the Allstars-Here Comes That Beat
Pumpkin also did work with Aaron Fuchs of Tuff City Records but his later material, such as Old Schools Funkiest Drummer and The Tuff City Sessions, was put out on the market without Pumpkins family consent.
Andre Harrell and Pumpkin were good friends from the Profile Records days so Harrell tried to sign Pumpkin to Uptown records but Pumpkin didn't like the deal and in fact, felt slighted by the offer and position so they had a falling out.
Pumpkin died on 28 August 1990 from pneumonia, at the age of 29. Several of his friends and admirers attended his funeral in a church across the street from the house in which he grew up.
- The Tuff City Sessions (1995), Old Skool Flava
- Old School's Funkiest Drummer (1995), Tuff City
As a band-member/session musician
- "Rappin & Rockin The House" - Funky Four Plus One More (Enjoy)
- "Love Rap" - Spoonie Gee - (Enjoy)
- "Body Rock" - Trecherous Three (Enjoy)
- "At the Party" - Trecherous Three (Enjoy)
- "Feel the Heart Beat" - Trecherous Three (Enjoy)
- "Move to the Groove" - Disco Four (Enjoy)
- "Country Rock & Rap" - Disco Four (Enjoy)
- "Put The Boogie In Your Body" - Trecherous Three (Enjoy)
- "The Ultimate Rap" - Nice-N-Nasty Three (Holiday)
- "Ice Theme" - Dr. Ice (Enjoy)
- "Gonna Get You Hot" - The Master Don Committee (Enjoy)
- "Your Rock" - Fantasy Three (Specific)
- "Biters in the City" - Fantasy Three (C.C.L.)
- "Dollar Bill, Y'all" - Jimmy Spice (unknown)
- "Problems of the World Today" - Fearless Four (Elektra)
- "It's Magic" - Fearless Four (Enjoy)
- "Rockin It, Rockin It" - Fearless Four (Enjoy)
- "Gettin Money" - Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde (Profile)
- "School Beats" - Disco Four (Profile)
- "King of the Beats" - Pumpkin (Profile)
- "Here Comes That Beat" - Pumpkin & the All-Stars (Profile)
- "Funk Boxx 2" - The Master Don Committee (Profile)
- "Mr. Bill" - Grandmaster Caz (Tuff City)
- "Joe Blow" - Puffy Dee (Tuff City)
- "Put That Head Out" - Wizard Wiz (Tuff City)
- Fresh Fly Wild and Bold
- Yvette with Grandmaster Caz
Pumpkin would always monogram his name on his shirts and jackets; one of those garments is now in the Hip hop Hall of Fame in Seattle.