James David Walker Jr

b. August 13th, 1921 in Saint Louis (Missouri) or Elaine (Arkansas)

d. December 20th, 2012 in San Pablo (California)

THE CHRONOLOGICAL JIMMY MC CRACKLIN

Classics

1945 - 1948

1948 - 1951

1951 - 1954

Si sa date de naissance semble être clairement établie, il n'en est pas de même pour le lieu de naissance : soit Elaine (Arkansas) ou Saint Louis (Missouri). Quoi qu'il en soit, il grandit dans le Missouri. Sa principale influence au piano est Walter Davis (qu'il rencontre d'ailleurs encore enfant). Après avoir brièvement rejoint la Navy en 1938, Jimmy s'installe en Californie. Il se produit d'abord au Club Savoy que dirige sa belle-soeur Willie Mae "Granny" Johnson. Il grave ses premiers morceaux pour Globe en 1945 simplement accompagné par l'excellent pianiste J.D. Nicholson ("Mean mistreated lover", "Baby don't you want to go"). Dans un style Jump-Blues, il travaille pour de nombreux autres labels californiens comme Courtney ("Rock and rye") ou Trilon. Entretemps, en 1947, Jimmy forme son propre groupe, les Blues Blasters. Aux côtés de Jimmy (qui chante et joue du piano), on trouve notamment le guitariste Robert Kelton (remplacé plus tard par Lafayette Thomas) et le batteur Little Red. Chez Cava-Tone, Jimmy donne de superbes titres comme "Bad luck and trouble", "Railroad blues", "Jimmy's blues" où brille d'ailleurs souvent la subtile guitare de Kelton. Dès la fin des années 40 et ses collaborations successives avec Modern-RPM et Swing Time, Jimmy produit de remarquables blues comme "Southside mood", "Listen woman", "Josephine" (aux accents Rock & Roll), "You heart ain't right", "Deceivin' blues", "Rockin' all day", "Gotta cut out", "Looking for a woman", "I'm gonna have my fun". En 1952, Jimmy arrive chez Peacock où il donne des titres Rhythm & Blues assez vigoureux : "My days are limited", "She's gone", "The cheater".

If his date of birth seems to be clearly established, it is not the same for his place of birth : either Elaine (Arkansas) or Saint Louis (Missouri). Anyway, he grows up in Missouri. His main influence on the piano is Walter Davis (whom he also meets as a child). After briefly joining the Navy in 1938, Jimmy moved to California. He first performed at Club Savoy run by his sister-in-law Willie Mae "Granny" Johnson. He cut his first pieces for Globe in 1945, accompanied by the excellent pianist J.D. Nicholson ("Mean mistreated lover", "Baby don't you want to go"). In a Jump-Blues style, he worked for many other California labels like Courtney ("Rock and rye") or Trilon. Meanwhile, in 1947, Jimmy formed his own band, The Blues Blasters. Alongside Jimmy (who sings and plays the piano), we find guitarist Robert Kelton (later replaced by Lafayette Thomas) and drummer Little Red. At Cava-Tone, Jimmy gives great titles like "Bad luck and trouble", "Railroad blues", "Jimmy's blues" where often shines the subtle guitar of Kelton. In the late 40's and his successive collaborations with Modern-RPM and Swing Time, Jimmy produced remarkable blues like "Southside mood", "Listen woman", "Josephine" (with some Rock & Roll accents), "You heart ain't right", "Deceivin' blues", "Rockin' all day", "Gotta cut out", "Looking for a woman", "I'm gonna have my fun". In 1952, Jimmy arrived at Peacock where he gave quite vigorous Rhythm & Blues titles : "My days are limited", "She's gone", "The cheater".

TWIST WITH JIMMY MC CRACKLIN

Crown

MY ROCKIN' SOUL

Custom

United

1954 - 1955

En 1954, Jimmy revient chez Modern-Kent. Sur certains morceaux, il assure le chant, le piano et l'harmonica. La plupart du temps, le matériel enregistré est de haut niveau en particulier les titres suivants : "My mother said", "That ain't right", "I'm gonna tell your mother", "You don't seem to understand".

In 1954, Jimmy returned to Modern-Kent. On certain tracks, he sings and plays piano and harmonica. Most of the time, this is first-rate recorded material especially the following titles : "My mother said", "That ain't right", "I'm gonna tell your mother", "You don't seem to understand".

I JUST GOTTA KNOW

Imperial

1956 - 1961

THINK

Imperial

1956 - 1965

MY ANSWER

Imperial

1956 - September 1965

JIMMY MC CRACKLIN SINGS

Chess

DOL

December 1957 - July 1958

EVERYBODY ROCK

Chess

December 1957 - August 1962

Au total, Jimmy Mac Cracklin participa à quatre séances pour Checker et Chess. Derrière lui, on trouve Al Jones (trombone), Johnny Parker (saxophone), Willie Cowart (saxophone), Lafayette Thomas (guitare), Horace Hall (basse) et Ray Cotton (batterie). Sa voix est superbe et sa musique swingante à souhait. Entre Blues et Rock & Roll, il livre quelques remarquables pièces comme l'excitant et répétitif "The walk" qui remporte un grand succès mais aussi "Everybody rock", "I'm through", "The wobble", "Minnie Lee", "He knows the rule", "Country baby".

In total, Jimmy Mac Cracklin participated in four sessions for Checker and Chess. Behind him, we can find Al Jones (trombone), Johnny Parker (saxophone), Willie Cowart (saxophone), Lafayette Thomas (guitar), Horace Hall (bass) and Ray Cotton (drums). His voice is superb and his music swinging at will. Between Blues and Rock & Roll, he delivers some stellar pieces such as the exciting and repetitive "The walk" which is a great hit but also "Everybody rock", "I'm through", "The wobble", "Minnie Lee", "He knows the rule", "Country baby".

THE MERCURY RECORDINGS

Bear Family

1958 - September 1960

Attiré par le succès de "The walk", le label Mercury embauche Jimmy en 1958. Il est placé sous la supervision de Clyde Otis (producteur de Brook Benton et Dinah Washington) puis de Shelby Singleton. Malgré les évidentes qualités de sa musique, Mercury ne le promeut pas vraiment et Jimmy ne retirera aucun bénéfice de cette association. Dans ce subtil mélange de Blues, Rhythm & Blues et Rock & Roll, on retiendra tout de même "The wobble", "Hitched" et "What's that".

Attracted by the success of "The walk", the Mercury label hired Jimmy in 1958. He was supervised by Clyde Otis (producer of Brook Benton and Dinah Washington) and Shelby Singleton. Despite the obvious qualities of his music, Mercury does not really promote him and Jimmy will not benefit from this association. In this subtle mix of Blues, Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll, we will remember however "The wobble", "Hitched" and "What's that".

EVERY NIGHT EVERY DAY

Imperial

April 1963 - 1965

"Every night every day", "Can't raise me", "I did wrong", "Let's do it all", "Looking for a woman" et une nouvelle version de son célèbre "The walk" s'imposent comme d'excellents morceaux piochés dans son imposante production pour le label Imperial.

"Every night every day", "Can't raise me", "I did wrong", "Let's do it all", "Looking for a woman" and a new version of his famous "The walk" are excellent songs picked up in his impressive production for the Imperial label.

THE NEW SOUL OF JIMMY MC CRACKLIN

Imperial

1966

THE BEST OF JIMMY MC CRACKLIN

Minit

1965 - 1967

LET'S GET TOGETHER

Minit

A PIECE OF JIMMY MC CRACKLIN

Minit

1967 - 1968

WEST COAST MODERN BLUES vol.2

P-Vine

Late 1960's

Cette anthologie rassemble un morceau de Jimmy Mac Cracklin (l'intéressant "This life of mine") enregistré probablement à la fin des années 60.

This anthology gathers one title of Jimmy Mac Cracklin (the interesting "This life of mine") probably recorded in the late 60's.

THE STINGER MAN

Minit

1969

Il s'agit de la dernière production pour Imperial-Minit (une firme avec laquelle il collabore depuis le milieu des années 50). A cette époque là, Jimmy s'oriente clairement vers un son Soul-Funk produit par "Monk" Higgins et Dee Ervin. "Stinger", "You ain't nothing but a devil", "I had to get with it", What's going on", "I know you know I know" figurent parmi les titres les plus excitants du programme. On note aussi la superbe guitare de Freddy Robinson.

This is the latest production for Imperial-Minit (a company with which he has been collaborating since the mid-1950's). At that time, Jimmy moves clearly towards a Soul-Funk sound produced by "Monk" Higgins and Dee Ervin. "Stinger", "You ain't nothing but a devil", "I had to get with it", What's going on", "I know you know I know" are among the most exciting titles of the program. We also note the superb guitar of Freddy Robinson.

YESTERDAY IS GONE

Stax

HIGH ON THE BLUES

Stax

May - October 1971

Jimmy Mac Cracklin se fond merveilleusement dans le son Soul-Blues du label Stax. Sous la supervision des producteurs Al Jackson et Willie Mitchell, sa musique se fait chaude et entrainante avec une solide section rythmique, choristes en avant et l'apport des Memphis Horns. Un album très recommandable contenant de nombreux grands moments : "Just got to know", "Stay away from that monkey", "Like my mama", "I finally got you", "I got somebody". En ce début des années 70, Jimmy, plus actif que jamais, participe à plusieurs éditions du San Francisco Blues Festival organisé par Tom Mazzolini (1973, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984).

Jimmy Mac Cracklin blends beautifully into the Stax label's Soul-Blues sound. Under the supervision of producers Al Jackson and Willie Mitchell, his music is warm and lively with a strong rhythm section, chorus singers in the foreground and the Memphis Horns. A very recommendable album containing many great moments : "Just got to know", "Stay away from that monkey", "Like my mama", "I finally got you", "I got somebody". In the beginning of the 70's, Jimmy, more active than ever, participates in several editions of the San Francisco Blues Festival organized by Tom Mazzolini (1973, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984).

BLASTING THE BLUES

JSP

1980

SAME LOVIN'

Evejim

1989

Après une longue absence discographique, Jimmy grave ce microsillon pour le label californien Evejim. Solide album de Soul-Blues, produit par Leon Haywood, avec des cuivres très présents et une section rythmique appuyée. Dans cette chaude ambiance, Jimmy semble parfaitement à l'aise et donne quelques superbes titres comme "All shucks", "Games to strong", "Same lovin'", "Think", "Just gotta know".

After a long discographical absence, Jimmy cut this LP for the californian label Evejim. A solid Soul-Blues album, produced by Leon Haywood, with very present horns and a strong rhythm section. In this warm atmosphere, Jimmy seems perfectly comfortable and gives some great titles like "All shucks", "Games to strong", "Same lovin'", "Think", "Just gotta know".

MY STORY

Bullseye

1990

Gravé entre la Californie et la Nouvelle Orléans, sous l'égide du producteur Ron Levy, il s'agit de son premier opus pour Bullseye (un label appartenant à Rounder). Il compte les participations de prestigieux musiciens comme John Mooney, Wayne Bennett, "Pee Wee" Ellis, "Sax" Gordon, Ron Levy et Irma Thomas. Son West Coast agréable et bien produit avec quelques pistes qui sortent du lot : "Tomorrow" (un duo avec Irma Thomas), "Real love", "Arkansas", "In the alley", "Mama and Papa".

Recorded between California and New Orleans, under the aegis of producer Ron Levy, it is his first opus for Bullseye (a label owned by Rounder). It includes prestigious musicians such as John Mooney, Wayne Bennett, "Pee Wee" Ellis, "Sax" Gordon, Ron Levy and Irma Thomas. Nice and well produced West Coast sound, with some nice tracks : "Tomorrow" (a duet with Irma Thomas), "Real love", "Arkansas", "In the alley", "Mama and Papa".

A TASTE OF THE BLUES

Bullseye

Munich

1993

Second album pour Bullseye avec pléthore d'invités fameux comme Lowell Fulson, Johnny Otis, Larry Davis, Bobby Forte, Smokey Wilson, Barbara Lynn. La production est soignée mais le disque n'est jamais surprenant ni original. Il lui manque probablement un peu de flamme et d'inspiration. Bien qu'inférieur à "My story", il s'écoute néanmoins avec plaisir.

Second album for Bullseye with a plethora of famous guests like Lowell Fulson, Johnny Otis, Larry Davis, Bobby Forte, Smokey Wilson, Barbara Lynn. The production is neat but the record is never surprising nor original. It probably lacks a little flame and inspiration. Though less interesting than "My story", it can nevertheless be listened with pleasure.

TELL IT TO THE JUDGE

Gunsmoke

1997

Compilation reprenant des morceaux de diverses époques, des années 60 aux années 90. On trouve toutefois quatre morceaux inédits de 1997 qui sont ses derniers. Mais, la section rythmique synthétique et erratique et les arrangements artificiels et peu subtils les rendent totalement inintéressants.

A compilation of titles from various periods, from the 60's to the 90's. However, there are four unissued tracks from 1997 that are his last. But, the synthetic and erratic rhythm section and the artificial and awkward arrangements make them totally uninteresting.