Knocky Parker

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Knocky Parker (August 8, 1918, Palmer, Texas – September 3, 1986, Los Angeles, California),[1] born John William Parker, II, was an American jazz pianist. He played primarily ragtime and Dixieland jazz.

A native of Texas, Parker played in the Western swing bands The Wanderers (1935) and the Light Crust Doughboys (1937–39)[2] before serving in the military during World War II.[3]

After the war he worked with Zutty Singleton and Albert Nicholas.[1] He became an English professor at Kentucky Wesleyan College and the University of South Florida.[4][5] On the side, he played piano with Tony Parenti, Omer Simeon and Doc Evans.[1] He recorded albums for Euphonic, GHB, Jazzology, London, Progressive, Paradox, Audiophile and Texstar. At Audiophile, he was one of the first to record all known ragtime pieces by Scott Joplin,[1] excluding "The Silver Swan", which was not discovered at that point.

In 1984, he was nominated for a Grammy Award with Big Joe Turner for Big Joe Turner with Knocky Parker and His Houserockers.[6][7]


  • In Gay Old New Orleans with Dick Wellstood (Progressive, 1950)
  • Piano Artistry (Audiophile, 1955)
  • Old Blues (Audiophile, 1958)
  • Old Rags (Audiophile, 1958)
  • The Complete Piano Works of Scott Joplin (Audiophile, 1960)
  • The Complete Piano Works of Jelly Roll Morton (Audiophile, 1960)
  • The Complete Works of James Scott (Audiophile, 1962)
  • Golden Treasury of Ragtime (Audiophile, 1970)
  • Eight on Eighty Eight (Euphonic, 1977)
  • Classic Rags and Nostalgia at the Old Town Music Hall (Euphonic, 1978)
  • From Cakewalk to Ragtime (Jazzology, 1979)
  • From Ragtime to Ballroom (Jazzology, 1979)
  • Knocky Parker and His Cakewalking Jazz Band (GHB, 1981)
  • In Gay Old New Orleans with Dick Wellstood (GHB, 1989)[8]
  • The Complete Piano Works of Jelly Roll Morton (Solo Art, 1994)
  • The Complete Piano Works of Scott Joplin (Solo Art, 2002)
  • From Cakewalk to Ragtime to Ballroom (Solo Art, 2010)


  1. ^ a b c d Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1907. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ Porterfield, Nolan (2004). Exploring Roots Music: Twenty Years of the JEMF Quarterly. Scarecrow Press. pp. 86–. ISBN 978-0-8108-4893-1. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Knocky Parker". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  4. ^ ""Professor/pianist John "Knocky" Parker" by University of South Florida". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  5. ^ Broer, Lawrence R.; Walther, John Daniel (1990). Dancing Fools and Weary Blues: The Great Escape of the Twenties. Popular Press. pp. 140–. ISBN 978-0-87972-458-0. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  6. ^ Hunt, Dennis (10 January 1986). "'We Are The World' Scores In Grammy Nominations". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Knocky Parker". 22 May 2018. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Knocky Parker | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 October 2018.