Wilton Crawley

How many musicians in the history of Jazz were also contortionists? Wilton Crawley is the only one that I've ever heard of. Crawley was an African-American vaudevillian, songwriter and clarinetist who was quite popular throughout the 1920s and 1930s. His style of playing was quite comical and a little heavy on the novelty effects, but somehow it all works thanks to Crawley's songwriting skills, pleasant voice and the exceptional musicians that played on his records.

Wilton Crawley and his Orchestra
Wilton Crawley and the Washboard Rhythm Kings
Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
Crawley Blues
(Wilton Crawley / Eddie Heywood)
5-31-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8479
Crawley Clarinet Moan
(Eddie Heywood / Gilbert)
12-16-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8539
Diamonds In The Rough 12-17-1927 Chicago, Illinois Okeh
test
Geechie River Blues
(Eddie Heywood / Gilbert)
5-31-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8492
I'm Forever Changing Sweethearts
(Wilton Crawley)
5-31-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8589
Paramount
R-2163
Irony Daddy Blues
(Wilton Crawley)
6-4-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8479
Lets Pretend To Be Sweethearts
(Wilton Crawley)
12-16-1927 Chicago, Illinois Okeh
8555
Love Will Drive Me Crazy
(Wilton Crawley)
12-16-1927 Chicago, Illinois Okeh
8539
My Perfect Thrill
(Wilton Crawley)
9-6-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8718
Old Broke-Up Shoes
(Wilton Crawley)
5-31-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8589
Put A Flavor To Love
(Wilton Crawley)
5-31-1928 New York, New York Okeh
test
She's Forty With Me
(Wilton Crawley)
6-4-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8492
Shadow Of The Blues
(Wilton Crawley)
9-6-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8619
She’s Driving Me Wild
(Wilton Crawley)
10-3-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38094-B
She's Nothing But Nice
(Wilton Crawley)
12-16-1927 Chicago, Illinois Okeh
8555
Snake Hip Dance
(Wilton Crawley)
9-4-1928 New York, New York Okeh
test
Snake Hip Dance
(Wilton Crawley)
10-3-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38094-A
Tall Tillie's Too Tight
(Wilton Crawley)
9-4-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8619
Wishing
(Wilton Crawley)
5-31-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8718
Artist Instrument
Henry Allen Trumpet
Paul Barbarin Trumpet
Eddie Heywood Piano
Pops Foster Bass Brass
Sonny Greer Drums
Charlie Holmes Alto Saxophone
Lonnie Johnson Guitar
Eddie Lang Guitar
Luis Russell Piano
Johnny St. Cyr ? Banjo
John Trueheart Banjo
unknown Piano, Alto Saxophone