Jimmy Crawford (drummer)

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Jimmy Crawford (left) and Frankie Laine, ca. 1947.
Photography by William P. Gottlieb.

Jimmy "Craw" Crawford (January 14, 1910 – January 28, 1980)[1] was an American jazz drummer in the swing era.


Jimmy Crawford was born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States.[1] He was the drummer of the Jimmie Lunceford big band for nearly 14 years from 1928 to 1942.[1] According to Modern Drummer, Crawford "played with a strong, solid pulsation — a classic trademark of the Lunceford sound — and was a key factor in establishing the unique Lunceford beat."[2] Later, in the 1950s, Crawford worked as a pit drummer on Broadway in such productions as Jamaica (1957-8) and Donnybrook (1961). He recorded with numerous notable artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Sy Oliver, Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, and Frank Sinatra.[2]

He died on January 28, 1980, in New York City.[1]


Paul Motian mentioned Crawford as one of his favorite drummers.[3]


With Buster Bailey

With Count Basie

With Kenny Burrell

With Buck Clarke

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Coleman Hawkins

With Eddie Heywood

  • Eddie Heywood (EmArcy, 1955)

With Quincy Jones


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
  2. ^ a b Jimmy Crawford Archived 2010-07-04 at the Wayback Machine, Modern Drummer
  3. ^ "Paul Motian's Favorite Drummer". YouTube. 2009-04-29. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2013-02-11.

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