R&B singer, songwriter James ‘Sugar Boy’ Crawford
Singer ~ Songwriter
birth name: James Crawford

James ‘Sugar Boy’ Crawford

October 12, 1934, New Orleans, LA ~ September 15, 2012, New Orleans, LA

James ‘Sugar Boy’ Crawford, who has died aged 77, was a New Orleans rhythm and blues singer and in 1953 wrote Jock-A-Mo, a song that became a catchy hit in the 1960s as Iko Iko. With lyrics borrowed from old Mardi Gras Indian chants, Jock-A-Mo was successfully recorded as Iko Iko by the Dixie Cups in 1965. Other artists, ranging from Dr. John, the Grateful Dead and Cyndi Lauper, also recorded versions. ~ the Telegraph: James Sugar Boy Crawford Obituary ~ September 18, 2012 © The Telegraph

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In November 1953, at age 19, Mr. Crawford recorded his composition ‘Jock-A-Mo’ at Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studio on North Rampart Street, with a band that included Snooks Eaglin on guitar. He did not know what the lyrics meant. “It was just a couple of Indian chants I put together and made a song out of them,” he said. In a 2002 interview with OffBeat magazine, Mr. Crawford said he actually sang ‘Chock-a-Mo.’ But Leonard Chess, listening to the recording in Chicago, heard ‘Jock-A-Mo’ and designated that as the title. Released on the Chess subsidiary Checker Records, ‘Jock-A-Mo’ was a hit during the 1954 Carnival season and a boon to Mr. Crawford’s career. He became popular on the fraternity circuit at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and toured around the country, even though he was too young to perform in venues where alcohol was served. “I was so young, they had to send my money home to my people,” he said. “They had to stop serving liquor when I performed.” Over the next decade, he recorded for various labels, including Imperial Records, releasing such singles as ‘I Bowed on My Knees,’ ‘You Gave Me Love,’ ‘Morning Star’ and ‘She's Gotta Wobble (When She Walks).’ ~ NOLA.com: James Sugar Boy Crawford Obituary ~ September 15, 2012 © NOLA/The Times-Picayune

James Sugar Boy Crawford ~ Inducted in the 2010 Louisiana Music Hall of Fame ~ Performing across South Louisiana, Sugar Boy Crawford was a “singer's singer,” one that other performers wanted to emulate, and was just as popular in Baton Rouge, LA as in New Orleans. ~ 2010 © Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame



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