Sunday, September 16, 2012

James 'Sugarboy' Crawford RIP

Another New Orleans music legend has passed on - this time James 'Sugarboy' Crawford, who recorded one of the all-time great carnival songs Jock-O-Mo - based on Mardi Gras chants - way back in 1953. Recorded for Chess, the song went on to be better known as Iko Iko, a hit for the Dixie Cups ten years later, and was also recorded by Dr John and the Neville Brothers among others.
Born in 1934,  'Sugarboy' first recorded with his band The Sha-Wez for Aladdin before being discovered by Leonard Chess. After Jock-O-Mo, with Snooks Eaglin on guitar, he recorded one more single for Checker before moving on to Imperial, Montel and Ace. He was badly injured in 1963 when he was pistol whipped by Louisiana police while he was on his way to a show and withdrew from performing and became a locksmith. Apart from singing gospel occasionally, including the Ponderosa Stomp in 2008, and one performance with his grandson Davell Crawford at Jazzfest in 1996 that was it, so far as 'Sugarboy' was concerned, but his famous Mardi Gras number is still heard frequently in New Orleans today.
My photo shows 'Sugarboy' (right) with Chuck Carbo of New Orleans vocal group the Spiders (who died in 2008) at Jazzfest in 1993.
Here's his obituary on
And here's his I Bowed On My Knees - great New Orleans R & B:


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