Jimmy Crawford was born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States. He was the drummer of the Jimmie Lunceford big band for nearly 14 years from 1928 to 1942. 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." 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.
- With Buster Bailey
- All About Memphis (Felsted, 1958)
With Count Basie
With Kenny Burrell
- Bluesin' Around (Columbia, 1961 )
With Buck Clarke
- The Buck Clarke Sound (Argo, 1963)
With Dizzy Gillespie
- Dizzy and Strings (Norgran, 1954)
- With Coleman Hawkins
- The Hawk Talks (Decca, 1952-53 )
With Eddie Heywood
- Eddie Heywood (EmArcy, 1955)
With Quincy Jones
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Jazz (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 107. ISBN 0-85112-580-8.
- Jimmy Crawford Archived 2010-07-04 at the Wayback Machine, Modern Drummer
- "Paul Motian's Favorite Drummer". YouTube. 2009-04-29. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 2013-02-11.