All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Jimmy McCracklin

Jimmy McCracklin Jimmy McCracklin

A 1990-1991 Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer Award winner, Jimmy McCracklin will forever be known as one of the architects of the West Coast blues sound, and among certain audiences, one of its biggest stars. One of the most prolific R&B songwriters with over 40 albums to his credit, a fine pianist, and deeply moving vocalist, McCracklin is a consummate showman who still dazzles crowds with his huge revue band in the great tradition of classic Rhythm 'n' Blues.

Jimmy was born in Helena, Arkansas in 1921, he moved to St. Louis where he learned piano from blues legend Walter Davis. In the mid '40s he fought as a professional boxer under the name “Jimmy Mackey,” engaging in over 23 bouts. Moving to California, he made his record debut in 1945 and through the late '40s and early '50s, in Richmond and Oakland, he made some of his greatest recordings for Modern, Peacock and Swingtime Records.

In 1957 he had a great hit for Chess called “The Walk,” which became a R&B classic and crossover hit, hitting #2 on the pop and R&B charts. An appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand further propelled him to stardom. Hit after hit followed in the '50s and early '60s for McCracklin, with such titles as “Georgia Stop,” “Just Get To Know,” “Shame, Shame, Shame,” “Every Night, Every Day,” “My Answer,” and “Think.” He also penned “Tramp,” a big hit for Lowell Fulson. He toured and shared billing with James Brown, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Jimmy Reed and Aretha Franklin, to name a few. He also recorded for Stax, where he was produced by Willie Mitchell and backed by the Memphis Horns. His songs have been covered by B.B. King, Roomful of Blues, Tom Jones, Salt 'n' Pepa, Ice Cube, Otis Redding, Elvin Bishop, Rufus Thomas, Los Lobos and Elvis Presley, among others.

Read more





All Shucks


Album High On The Blues by Jimmy McCracklin

High On The Blues

Stax Records







B.B. King B.B. King
guitar, electric
Big Joe Turner Big Joe Turner
voice / vocals
Freddie King Freddie King
guitar, electric
Jimmy Witherspoon Jimmy Witherspoon
voice / vocals
Sleepy John Estes Sleepy John Estes
guitar, acoustic
Magic Sam Magic Sam
guitar, electric
Percy Mayfield Percy Mayfield
voice / vocals
Koko Taylor Koko Taylor
voice / vocals
Jimmy Rogers Jimmy Rogers
guitar, electric
Pee Wee Crayton Pee Wee Crayton
guitar, electric

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.