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Jimmy McCracklin

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Jimmy McCracklin

Biography Discography Videos


Official Website The Official Website
WikipediaWikipedia: Jimmy McCracklin
Rolling Stone ObituaryRolling Stone Obituary

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A full half-century from when he started out in the blues business, Jimmy McCracklin was still touring, recording, and acting like a much younger man. In fact, he vehemently disputed his commonly accepted birth date, but since he began recording back in 1945, it seemed reasonable. McCracklin grew up in Missouri, his main influence on piano being Walter Davis (little Jimmy's dad introduced him to the veteran pianist). McCracklin was also a promising pugilist, but the blues eventually emerged victorious. After a stint in the Navy during World War II, he bid St. Louis adieu and moved to the West Coast, making his recorded debut for the Globe logo with "Miss Mattie Left Me" in 1945. On that platter, J.D. Nicholson played piano; most of McCracklin's output found him handling his own 88s.

McCracklin recorded for a daunting array of tiny labels in Los Angeles and Oakland prior to touching down with Modern in 1949-1950, Swing Time the next year, and Peacock in 1952-1954. Early in his recording career, McCracklin had Robert Kelton on guitar, but by 1951, Lafayette "Thing" Thomas was installed as the searing guitarist with McCracklin's Blues Blasters and remained invaluable to the pianist into the early '60s. By 1954, the pianist was back with the Bihari Brothers' Modern logo and really coming into his own with a sax-driven sound. "Couldn't Be a Dream" was hilariously surreal, McCracklin detailing his night out with a woman sent straight from hell, while a 1955 session found him doubling credibly on harp.

A series of sessions for Bay Area producer Bob Geddins' Irma label in 1956 (many of which later turned up on Imperial) preceded McCracklin's long-awaited first major hit. Seldom had he written a simpler song than "The Walk," a rudimentary dance number with a good groove that Checker Records put on the market in 1958. It went Top Ten on both the R & B and pop charts, and McCracklin was suddenly rubbing elbows with Dick Clark on network TV.

The nomadic pianist left Chess after a few more 45s, pausing at Mercury (where he cut a torrid "Georgia Slop" in 1959, later revived by Big Al Downing) before returning to the hit parade with the tough R & B workout "Just Got to Know" in 1961 for Art-Tone Records. A similar follow-up, "Shame, Shame, Shame," also did well for him the next year. Those sides eventually resurfaced on Imperial, where he hit twice in 1965 with "Every Night, Every Day" (later covered by Magic Sam) and the uncompromising "Think" and "My Answer" in 1966.

McCracklin's songwriting skills shouldn't be overlooked as an integral factor in his enduring success. He penned the funky "Tramp" for guitarist Lowell Fulson and watched his old pal take it to the rarefied end of the R & B lists in 1967, only to be eclipsed by a sassy duet cover by Stax stalwarts Otis Redding and Carla Thomas a scant few months later. McCracklin made a string of LPs for Imperial, even covering "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" in 1966, and segued into the soul era totally painlessly. Latter-day discs for Bullseye Blues proved that McCracklin still packed a knockout punch from behind his piano, no matter what his birth certificate said.

Jimmy McCracklin died in San Pablo, California on December 20, 2012 at the age of 91.

 -- Bill Dahl of All Music Guide.

You're the One
Lie to Me

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1961Jimmy McCracklin Sings
1961Twist With Jimmy McCracklin
1963My Rockin� Soul
1965Every Night, Every Day
1966New Soul Of Jimmy McCracklin
1968Let�s Get Together
1969Stinger Man
1971High On The Blues
1972Yesterday Is Gone
1981Jimmy McCracklin & His Blues Blasters
1983Blasting The Blues
1989Same Lovin�
1989Everybody Rock! The Best Of Jimmy McCracklin
1991Jimmy Mc Cracklin & Paul Gayten
1991My Story
1994A Taste Of The Blues
1999Tell It To The Judge
2003Jumpin� Bay Area 1948-1955


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1961 Jimmy McCracklin Sings

01. Later On
02. The Walk
03. I�m Through
04. Country Baby
05. Hurt Me
06. New Orleans Beat
07. I Know
08. I Am The Blame
09. He Knows The Rules
10. Get Tough
11. Come On
12. Take Care Of Yourself

1961 Twist With Jimmy McCracklin

1963 My Rockin� Soul

01. Couldn�t Be A Dream
02. Oh Baby
03. You Don�t Seem To Understand
04. Reelin� And Rockin� Twist
05. I Can�t Tell
06. I�m Gonna Tell Your Mother
07. My Mother Says
08. That Ain�t Right
09. Please Forgive

1965 Every Night, Every Day

01. The Walk
02. You�re The One
03. Looking For A Woman
04. Just Like It Is
05. Believe In Me
06. Can�t Raise Me
07. I Did Wrong
08. Let�s Do It All
09. Someone
10. Summertime
11. That�s The Way It Goes

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1965 Think

01. Think
02. Slightest Idea
03. The Bitter & The Sweet
04. Just Pretending
05. My Best Friend
06. Speak Up
07. Steppin' Up In Class
08. I'm The One
09. My Life
10. Head Over Flip
11. Advice
12. I'll See It Through

1966 New Soul Of Jimmy McCracklin

01. These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
02. Sorry
03. R-M Blues
04. You Don't Know
05. Tomorrow
06. Don't Suffer
07. Come On Home (Back Where You Belong)
08. Just Let Me Cry
09. Something That Belongs To Me
10. Convince Me
11. Self Experience
12. Thinking Back

1968 Let�s Get Together

1969 Stinger Man

1971 High On The Blues

01. Double Dealing
02. Just Got To Know
03. Stay Away From That Monkey
04. Yesterday Is Gone
05. Would Man Be Satisfied
06. Like My Mama
07. I finally Got You
08. You�re The One
09. The Love Money Can�t Buy
10. Think
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1972 Yesterday Is Gone

1981 Jimmy McCracklin & His Blues Blasters

1983 Blasting The Blues

01. Story Of Jimmy McCracklin
02. If I Won�t Talk
03. I Have A Copyright On Your Love
04. I Wanna Make Love To You
05. Mama Mama
06. Reconsider Baby
07. I Just Got To Know
08. Hop, Skip And Jump
09. You�re The One

1989 Same Lovin�

01. All Shucks
02. Games To Strong
03. Outside Help
04. Just Gotta Know
05. Same Lovin'
06. Do It Together
07. My Answer
08. Think

1989 Everybody Rock! The Best Of Jimmy McCracklin

01. The Walk
02. I�m To Blame
03. Later On
04. I�m Through
05. Minnie Lee
06. Take Care Of Yourself
07. Suffer
08. Get Tough
09. Everybody Rock
10. Hurt Me
11. Country Baby
12. The Wobble
13. I�ll Take The Blame
14. He Knows The Rules
15. I know
16. Come On
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1991 Jimmy Mc Cracklin & Paul Gayten

1991 My Story

01. Tomorrow
02. Real Love
03. Arkansas
04. Keep It Like It Is
05. It�s Got To Be Lovebr> 06. In The Alley
07. After Hours
08. Stuck With Loneliness
09. Mama And Papa
10. Join The Club
11. My Story
12. Just A Matter If Time

1994 A Taste Of The Blues

01. Boogie On Down
02. Lie To Me
03. How Do You Like Your New Love
04. My Answer
05. Help The Bear
06. Yesterday Is Gone
07. I Got Juiced
08. Put Up Or Shut Up
09. Not The Right Thing
10. Outside Help
11. Taste Of The Blues

1999 Tell It To The Judge

01. Good Old Days
02. Hate Will Destroy The World
03. Some Lovin� In Return
04. Like My Mama
05. Would Man Be Satisfied
06. Think
07. I Just Got To Know
08. I Got Somebody
09. Stuck With Loneliness
10. Put Up Or Shut Up
11. My Answer
12. Not The Right Thing
13. Bad Situation
14. Double Dealin� On Me
15. After Hours
16. In The Alley
17. Tell It To The Judge

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2003 Jumpin� Bay Area 1948-1955

01. Blues Blasters Boogie
02. Darlin� Share Your Love
03. Give My Heart A Break
04. The Panic�s On
05. Couldn�t Be A Dream
06. Please Forgive Me Baby
07. Jumpin� In The Heart Of Town
08. Standing In The Back Door Crying
09. Tired Of Everybody
10. What You Did To Me
11. People Are Wondering
12. I�ve Got The Feeling
13. Gonna Tell our Mother
14. My Mother Says
15. That Ain�t Right
16. I Got Eyes For You
17. Rockin� All Day
18. Bad Health Blues
19. Gotta Cut Out
20. Just Won�t Let Her Go
21. Beer Drinkin� Woman
22. Love When It Rains
23. I�ll Get A Break Someday
24. Crying Blues
25. Bad Condition Blues

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